The Knesset State Control Committee visited the building site for the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem express train Sunday, where Israeli Railways CEO Boaz Tzafrir announced that the line will be up and running by March 2018.
Project Manager Dror Supro explained that the new line will feature trains with a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour (99.4 mph), with up to four trains per hour during peak travel times.
According to Supro, travel time is projected to be just 30 minutes from the Tel Aviv HaHagana station - just outside the city's Central Bus Station - and Jerusalem's Binyanei HaUma (also outside the Central Bus Station).
To compare, the current train route from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv features multiple stops, bypasses Jerusalem's Central Bus Station and takes roughly 90 minutes. By bus, the current distance is roughly 45 minutes from station to station - but can take much longer during rush-hour traffic.
After the visit, Committee Chairman MK Amnon Cohen (Shas) called on the government to help fund the completion of the Netiv Ayalon tunnel - a crucial factor in advancing progress on the express line.