Impression of Haifa Hof HaCarmel station (Image: CLOUDVIEW/Shabtai Tal/Israel Railways Ltd)

ISRAEL: The government has backed plans for expansion of the rail network and works to increase capacity and speeds on existing lines.

On December 24 the government approved the quadrupling of the coastal line between Tel Aviv and Haifa, with two fast tracks suitable for 250 km/h to be provided between Shefayim to north of Hertzliya and Haifa Hof HaCarmel. This would reduce the journey time to 30 min and enable trains to run every 5 min in the peaks .

Future plans include a new line 83 km long suitable for 250 km/h between Pleshet junction north of Ashdod, Na’an and Be’er Sheva North/University. This would provide a 38 min journey between Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv.

An increase to six tracks is proposed on the 27 km route between Shefayim and Ben-Gurion airport.

On December 14 the government announced that infrastructure body Israel Roads’ railway unit is to produce designs for a railway to link Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee with Tzfat, Kiryat-Shmona and the existing line to Karmi’el.

Meanwhile, Tracklaying is underway on a 30 km line which will run in the central reservation of Highway 431 to connect Anava on the lines to Jerusalem and Modi’in with Rishon Le Zion Moshe Dayan and thus other destinations along the southern coastal route. The project includes a 3·5 km bridge, and three stations located 20 m below Highway 20.

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