In August 2011, the first sectoin of Jerusalem's light rail line opened for business. Construction continues on continuing the line to Ein Kerem and Neve Yakov, and an extension to Kiryat Menachem is being considered.
The first 13.8 km line between Pisgat Ze'ev and YadVashem was expected to be fully operational in 2005. Eight lines are planned by 2020, including an extension to Line 1 which is reportedly underway. The 21.9 km extension is scheduled to open in 2015.
Originally designed as a light rail subway, the train's tunnel was converted to a road tunnel, and the tram runs completely on the surface.
In 2010, just under a kilometer of the line was functioning and between interruptions on the street and the political turmoil and safety concerns the government and the consortium were in perpetual quarrels. Then again, who am I to know such things? If I guessed, it would probably be wrong, so why I
Details remain to be ironed out, such as, will local terrorists' suicide belts be considered carry-on? Once the entire system is built, will it be divided into the Old Tramway and the New Tramway? And, if one gets on a train before sundown Friday night, is it permitted to step off the train before sundown Saturday night, or can one do so if a gentile conductor opens
the doors? (The train will not run on Saturday but will also not be expected to attend synagogue.)
There are also legitimate concerns about safety. Already, one prospective line through an Arab town has been cancelled due to a rash of bus bombings by people from that area. There is also the question of, if a Palestinian state were formed and the light railway went through that area, should those living there benefit from the line?
According to the PLO, "By
using a the light rail system to integrate Occupied East Jerusalem into West
Jerusalem, Israel is furthering its stranglehold over the entire city". It would force those in the Eastern part of the city to suffer the inconvenience of using the light metro, bearing it's intense heat, sticky grime and foul odors, rather than riding in the comfort and convenience of air conditioned buses, some of which prefer not to serve their neighborhoods since they have a tendency to blow up "real good" after going through them. In addition,
land was seized from 15 families to put up a parking lot and a station. Adding insult to injury, Arab property values have risen due to the light rail construction and some clamor for an extension into Palestine. Where will it all end?
Jerusalem Development Authority light rail
From Mule Tracks To Light Rail Tracks by Robert Daniel and Marc Render is one of the best histories of the Jerusalem light rail that I have yet to read.
official home page
Unofficial Home Page
Post article about the Jeresulam light rail line
considers light rail funding guaranteesJ erusalem Post,10/16/98
Official home page
Science Museum - Jerusalem's LRT project
Jerusalem Light Rail Project's Tram Drivers May Strike Before The Line Opens - Oy!
Twenty Kilometers of tunnels are part of an Israeli Railways Jerusalem commuter rail that will link the city with the rest of the country. Known as the Jerusalem Rail Loop, we've been unable to confirm the actual length, although the lines are being built.
People move like hot butter through the light rail construction on Jaffa Street. Who knew it would be so easy?
Each tram interior was specifically designed by Jewish mothers with the coming of the Messiah in mind. Note the plastic sheetcovers on the seats. He shouldn't get himself filthy if he decides to take the tram on the way to bringing peace.