Israel’s longest tunnel was completed yesterday after 22 months of work, Globes reports. The tunnel forms part of the Yerushalayim Tel Aviv fast rail link and extends 11.6 kilometers in the Yerushalayim hills between Mevaseret Zion and Nachal Yitlah. Work will soon start on a second parallel tunnel of the same length to take trains in the other direction.
The tunnels form a substantial part of the 57 kilometer rail link between Tel Aviv and Yerushalayim via Ben Gurion airport. A new station is under construction at the western entrance to Yerushalayim. The entire project costs NIS 7 billion.
When completed the trains will travel at an average of 160 kilometers per hour and journey time between Tel Aviv and Yerushalayim will be 28 minutes. At peak times there will be four trains per hour and the line will carry 4 million passengers annually.
The project includes 5 tunnels totaling 37 kilometers and 8 bridges totaling 6.5 kilometers.