Tel Aviv’s Hashalom train station will close at midnight Sunday for a week, to allow for construction work on the light rail, Israel Railways — the state-owned railways company announced this weekend, sparking fears of massive traffic jams for the rest of the week.
Trains from the north will end at the Savidor-Mercaz Station, and trains coming from the south will stop at the Hahagana Station. Shuttles will ferry commuters between the two stations at no charge.
A line to and from Nahariya in the north to Beersheba in the south will bypass Tel Aviv stations altogether.
The train station will reopen the morning of March 12.
The Red Line of the light rail will be the first line of Tel Aviv’s light-rail system, and will run from Petah Tikva to Bat Yam, traveling underneath the Hashalom Station.
Construction is set to be completed by 2021, after which the light rail will run from the Em Hamoshavot neighborhood in Petah Tikva to Herzl Street in Tel Aviv.
In May 2015, the China Railway Tunnel Group won a bid of close to NIS 3 billion ($810 million) to help build the long-awaited light rail in Tel Aviv.
CRTG is a subsidiary of CREC, China’s largest construction company, which has business ties with Iran’s Khatam-al Anbiya Construction company worth billions. The company announced a high-speed rail project earlier this year connecting Tehran and Isfahan.