Labor Dispute Puts Expanded Train Schedule in Doubt

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel Railways issued a new timetable on Monday, but an ongoing management-labor wrangle threatens to keep the system from running on time.

The new schedule, which adds 126 trains a week, is set to begin on March 29. The new regime includes restoration of full service to Modi’in, Ben Gurion Airport, and destinations in the south, extending the hours for the high-speed rail to Yerushalayim, and a brand-new map of train routes across the country.

However, all this and more will come to pass only if the railways management can come to terms with its drivers. In the meantime, the workers committee opposes the new schedule for drivers, Globes reported on Monday.

The management and the drivers’ representatives are still seeing each other in court. A labor court hearing claims that the proposed schedule does not allow sufficient break time for drivers. Employees have been staging slowdowns, though on Monday trains ran as usual.

That is, with the usual delays. At Rosh HaAyin, a problem arose with the points directing trains from one set of tracks to another leading to Tel Aviv, causing major disruptions.