According to an official in the Ministry of Transportation, the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem high-speed train line will not open until mid-2019. This is the third time that the target date for the line has been pushed back.

It is important to note that the new information did not come directly from Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, but from a skeptical internal official. According to the official, the amount of work still required to make the train operational, makes the current Sukkot 2018 target date impossible.

Due to the scope of the transportation project, at least six months of testing are expected after construction is completed before the train can begin running.

Israel Railways responded that they are still attempting to meet the Sukkot target date, but that the safety of the riders will be paramount.

Construction on the project, touted as the largest infrastructure project in the country’s history, began in 2001. the line requires 57km of rail, 7km of bridges, 38km of tunnels, and a train station that delves 80 meters below ground. There are also plans for future extensions to Downtown Jerusalem and the Old City.

Once completed, the high-speed train line will transport passengers between Israel’s two largest cities in just under 30 minutes.

(Header Photo By Haim Zach, Copyright © 2018)