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Transportation

The Long Road to High-Speed Rail In Israel

The $2-billion project will shorten the 37-mile commute between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by more than half the current drive time when finally debuts in 2018. Until then, it’s still a headache for politicians and commuters.
A worker carries reinforcement bars in front of a tunnel at the construction site of Israel Railways's High Speed Link project. Connecting Jerusalem to the greater Tel Aviv area with a 31-minute-long ride, the new railway line will include five tunnels with a total length of about 23 miles and 10 bridges with a total length of about 4 miles.
A worker carries reinforcement bars in front of a tunnel at the construction site of Israel Railways's High Speed Link project. Connecting Jerusalem to the greater Tel Aviv area with a 31-minute-long ride, the new railway line will include five tunnels with a total length of about 23 miles and 10 bridges with a total length of about 4 miles. Baz Ratner/REUTERS

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are culturally quite different, but one thing currently connecting the two is a shared frustration over traffic, thanks to construction on a high-speed rail line.

The 7-billion Israeli Shekel ($2 billion) project is set to start operating by 2018. Once completed, the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway will shorten the 37-mile commute between the country’s political and economic hubs from an average of 75 minutes to a miraculous 28 minutes.