Jerusalem Light Rail System 'Gathers Steam'
As of December 2005, CityPass, the consortium building the light rail, had not raised funds for the project and while the city had completed the necessary infrastructure work to enable it, work on the tracks had not yet been carried out.
According to light rail spokesman Shmulik Elgrably, the project has notched up two major achievements this year: CityPass has raised $2 billion, and work has begun on the tracks in four areas. Tractors have dug to a depth of 1 m. on two sites on Herzl Boulevard, in Pisgat Ze'ev and downtown.
The first track was laid a month ago at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Workers are now pouring concrete and tracks will be laid in the near future. Half the tracks are already in the country, and will be laid by a special machine, the Appitrack, which can install the 13.8 km. of tracks at a rate of 170 m. a day. The first carriage, currently being produced in France, is scheduled to arrive in Israel in June.
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