Engineering works are now complete on the new Negev line, connecting the southern coastal city of Ashkelon with the southern region capital of Be’er Sheva.
The new 70-km double track line will be open to traffic next month. It was built at a cost of NIS 2 billion (€0.5 billion) and runs across 17 bridges and 12 level separations. A flying junction was built to connect the new line with the existing main line.
The line will be served daily by 25 regional services in each direction running at a half hourly frequency during peak hours and hourly frequency over the rest of the day. Trains will also call at the towns of Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim. Ofakim station will open by the end of the year.
IR CEO Mr Boaz Zafrir said that “the new rail connection to the south will expand employment in the region, attract young couples and improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of residents”.
Track works begin on the new line to Jerusalem
At the same time, a major milestone has been achieved on the new line to Jerusalem with the beginning of track laying on the western part of the route. The line, built at a cost of NIS 7 billion, includes 28 km of double track line of which 20 km runs through tunnels and 3.5 km over bridges.
(Source: Israel Railways)