11 Years Overdue, Jerusalem Express Train to Reach Tel Aviv in Early 2019, Exec Says
Launched in September after 17 years in the making, Israel’s first electric train currently gets as far as Ben Gurion Airport, 19 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv
Eleven years after its original due date, the Jerusalem express train will reach Tel Aviv by early 2019, Karen Turner, the general director of Israel’s Ministry of Transport, said in an interview with Israeli news website Ynet on Thursday. Approved by the Israeli government in 2001 and originally scheduled for completion by 2008, Israel’s first electric train was intended to connect Jerusalem and Tel Aviv through a 28-minute ride covering 57 kilometers.
Turner’s statement comes after a long line of announcements concerning the intended launch date of the line by ministry officials, all of which have failed to realize. A partial route ending at Ben Gurion International Airport, 19 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv, was eventually launched in September and was plagued with frequent malfunctions and interruptions of service during its first month of operation. The only train currently connecting Israel’s two largest cities is a 90-minute route constructed in the late nineteenth century.