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September 20, 2018 4:52 pm

Not Quite Finished Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Rail Line Inaugurated in ‘Historic Moment’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks out a train window as he participates in a test-run of the new high-speed train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Photo: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun.

The new fast train line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was inaugurated on Thursday at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.

According to Israel’s Channel Two, the ceremony was held at the newly built underground train station at the entrance to Jerusalem.

The prime minister said, “This is a historic moment. I use that expression advisedly, we have arrived here at this time after a great effort. This is truly a new era.”

Katz echoed Netanyahu’s words, saying, “This is indeed a historic moment — the first voyage on the new train line to Jerusalem. A day of celebration for Jerusalem.”

The new rail line is not entirely finished, however. The rail does not yet reach central Tel Aviv, its intended destination, and passengers will have to switch trains at Ben-Gurion Airport. In addition, tickets can only be bought online at the moment.

Building the train line has been a long and laborious process. Construction began almost 20 years ago in 2001 at an estimated cost of $2 billion. When finally completed, it is meant to cut the travel time between the two cities to less than half an hour.

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