Cost of Railway to Eilat Underestimated by 10 Billion Shekels

YERUSHALAYIM -

A prime minister’s task force has determined that previous official estimates of the cost of a new railway to Eilat were 10 billion shekels short of the mark, Globes reported on Tuesday.

The cost of the line to Eilat will be NIS 30.3 billion, and the state will have to subsidize it by about NIS 500 million a year, according to a team headed by Prime Minister’s Office director general Harel Locker. The initial estimate was made by the Ministry of Transport.

The estimate does not include additions to the project, such as a control center, maintenance sites, service centers, and additional upgrades, whose cost cannot be estimated at this stage.

The team stated, “Even without the train to Eilat, the Ministry of Transport’s projected expenses for land transportation development exceeds the projected expenses limit in the state budget. If the Eilat rail project is added, the projected expenses are significantly higher.”