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Israeli Cabinet Approves Construction of a Tel Aviv-Eilat Railway Line

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

As reported in port2port:

Israel plans to build railway line linking its Eilat Red Sea port and Mediterranean ports. The project is due to begin operations five years from the start of construction

The Cabinet approved the construction of a railway line from Tel Aviv to Eilat.  The 350-kilometer line will be for passengers and freight and is due to shorten travel time to a mere two hours.

The project is due to begin operations five years from the start of construction.

According to the decision, a team chaired by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker will consider three alternatives for financing the project: An inter-governmental agreement between Israel and another government with which there are economic and strategic interests; establishing the project in cooperation with the private sector; or funding from the state budget.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, “In the coming decade, new powers will arise and the State of Israel must create vital interests from a national strategy point-of-view.  We have the ability to create an alternative transportation route that bypasses the Suez Canal – this is an insurance policy.  Israel must become a continental land crossing route and create great power interests.  The Tel Aviv-Eilat railway line, which will shorten travel time to two hours, will change the face of the country.  For 63 years, there has been talk about linking up the periphery to the center, but nothing has been done.  The railway line and Israel’s natural gas resources can forge strong links in the economic, energy and industrial fields.”