The line will link Hadera and Lod, bypassing the Ayalon railway bottleneck in Tel Aviv, just as Road 6 does for the highway system, Globes reports.
Israel Railways "eastern link" is moving ahead after a budget of NIS 8.1 billion was allocated to it in the Economic Arrangements Law for planning and construction. The 63 kilometer line was approved by the National Planning and Building Commission back in 2012 but the money has only become available recently.
The importance of the line that will link Hadera and Lod is that it bypasses the Ayalon railway bottleneck in Tel Aviv, just as Road 6 does for the country's highway system. At present all lines from north to south pass through the three lines in Tel Aviv. After the Hadera-Lod line is complete passenger traveling, for example, from Haifa to Beersheva will be able to avoid Tel Aviv.
Construction of the new line will be divided between Netivei Israel, which will build the northern section from Hadera to Kfar Saba and Israel Railways, which will build the southern section from Kfar Saba to Lod. Due to the difficult topography and terrain in heavily populated areas, estimates are that the line won't be operational before 2026.