Transport minister: NIS 40 billion to be invested in developing nationwide rail network

May 11, 2009 
 
The nationwide plan includes the development of railway lines from Eilat in the south and the border town Kiryat Shmona in the north
 
At his first press conference last week, Minister of Transport, Israel Katz, presented a plan for a nationwide railway network, to be built by 2020 at a cost of NIS 40 billion. The nationwide plan, called by the Minister "Israel Routes" includes the development of railway lines to the Red Sea city of Eilat in the south and the border town Kiryat Shmona in the north.
 
The plan also includes the building of the old Jezreel Valley line, Acre-Carmiel, the eastern line along Road 6 (the Cross-Israel Highway), and a fourth railway track along the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.
 
Concerning the seaports reform, Katz noted that he favored "an open card policy" vis-a- vis the port workers. Katz said, "I favor reform, but we must maximize coordination with the workers. We support the Ministry of Finance's initiative, and everything depends on discussions with the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel).
 
Commenting on the problems encountered by the civil aviation concerning safety, the Minister said, "We rightly earned the downgrade. It was no coincidence. It's amazing how a country with such a great Air Force can't build a similar civil aviation system. Within a year, we must regain the top rating”.

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