8 days of misery await Israeli commuters

3 out of 4 train stations in Tel Aviv shut down starting today, due to railway construction, causing major traffic jams Monday morning.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Israel Railways workers with train
Israel Railways workers with train
Flash 90

Trains arriving from the south will finish their routes at the normally crowded Tel Aviv Hagana Station and trains arriving from the north will finish their route in Herzliya. Express trains will not run between Haifa and Tel Aviv until next Tuesday but will run on an alternate route, that detours the regular stops. The Ministry of Transportation has arranged for free shuttles between the closed stations, and will increase the number of buses on regular routes.

Israel Railways announced this morning that the upgrade to an express train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is the reason for closing the stations, is going according to schedule. Israel Railways responded to questions regarding the need for 8 days of massive inconvenience to the public stating that the company’s board would be very surprised if this work took less than 8 days.

The Egged Bus Company stated that they are adding 110 buses that are normally used for other purposes to their regular fleet.

The company added that: “The public is asked to act patiently and calmly on Egged bus platform and stops. We at Egged are confident that we will succeed in meeting the increased demand for transportation.”

The plan for building an express train that would take 28 minutes to get between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv involved disruption to regular train routes. Israel Railways attempted to do some of the work on the Sabbath when there is less traffic, causing a coalition crisis as working on the Sabbath except in life threatening situations is against halakha and Israeli Law since the inception of the state. Various solutions were suggested until the controversy was resolved.

The historic, and only route by rail from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Jerusalem-Tel Aviv railway was inaugurated in 1892 and subsequent improvements to it did not lower the 80 minute travel time of the scenic trip. It will be the first high speed electrified railway in Israel and reach the entrance to Jerusalem at the Central Bus Station (as oppose to the Malha Station).