Israel's railway renaissance continues with the completion of the Jezreel Valley railway between Haifa and Beit Shean. Last week journalists were taken for a ride on the new line, which Israel Railways is scheduled to start operating on October 16, the eve of the Sukkot holiday.
The new 60 kilometer line will initially have five stations - Haifa, Kfar Yehoshua, Migdal Ha'Emek, Afula and Beit Shean. The journey will take 50 minutes although trains can potentially travel at up to 160 kilometers per hour. In the near future two new stations will be added at Haifa South and Nesher.
The railway revives the line first built and opened by the Ottoman Turks in the late 19th century between Haifa and Damascus. The line was closed by the British in 1946.
The new line cost NIS 4 billion to build and includes three tunnels totaling 1 kilometer and 26 bridges extending over 5.5 kilometers. The government hopes that the new line will help develop the northern peripheral regions by making the commute to Haifa Bay relatively easy. The new line, which passes through the attractive Lower Galilee countryside, will also become a tourist attraction.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 1, 2016
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