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September 8, 2019 11:28 am

One Year After Launch, Jerusalem Express Train Finally Arrives in Tel Aviv

avatar by Lior Gutman / CTech

View of the new Tel Aviv-Jerusalem fast train seen over the HaArazim valley just outside of Jerusalem, on Sept. 25, 2018. Photo: Yossi Zamir/Flash90.

CTech – Israel’s national train company Israel Railways announced Friday it has completed a first trial ride on the 57-kilometers-long electric train route connecting Jerusalem’s Yitzhak Navon station and Hahagana station in southern Tel Aviv.

The test drive comes one year after the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv express electric train, in the making since 2001, was launched as a partial route that only gets as far as Ben Gurion International Airport, 19 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv. Since its launch in September 2018, the partial route has been plagued with malfunctions and interruptions of service.

The first test drive was conducted by a single locomotive, without attached carts or passengers. Last month, German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) sent a letter to Israel Railways, warning against severe safety issues it found during an inspection. In the letter, reviewed by Calcalist, DB stated the electrical systems on the route are not yet safe to use with a large number of passengers aboard and suggested Israel Railways fix the issues before applying for an operating license for the complete route.

Responding to Calcalist’s request for comment, a spokesperson for Israel Railways said last week that the issues addressed in the letter have since been resolved.

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