Trains boss says halting Shabbat work will add years, cost millions

An internal Israel Rails document predicts that prohibiting work on new train lines on Shabbat will delay the project by years and cost tens of millions of shekels extra, Army Radio reveals.

The document’s contents are confirmed by Israel Rails director Baoz Zafrir, who tells the station that “if there’s not work being done all the time we are ready, it will delay many projects.”

Construction at the Tel Aviv Shalom rail line, August 27, 2016. (Israel Railways)
Construction at the Tel Aviv Shalom rail line, August 27, 2016. (Israel Railways)

He adds that stopping train work is equal to taking 10,000 buses off the road.

Religious parties threatened a coalition crisis over the weekend after the Transportation Ministry gave the go-ahead for major works to be done over Shabbat to build a new trestle at the Hashalom Station in Tel Aviv, shutting down the normally busy Ayalon Highway as workers installed the new bridge during the day of rest.

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