JERUSALEM (Aug. 10)
Some 550 leaders of the State of Israel Bonds Organization gathered in Ashkelon on Tuesday to launch a newly built four-mile extension of the Beersheba-Ashdod railway.
The new portion of the line will enable the shipping of coal from a new terminal at the port of Ashdod to the Rutenberg Power Station, now under construction south of the city.
Israel State Railways General Manager Eliahu Barak said the cost of the new line and renovations on the existing 22 miles of rail total $25 million.
The State of Israel Bonds Organization is one of the major contributors to the project, many of whose contractors and suppliers are based in development towns, such as Dimona, Yeroham and Carmiel.
Representatives of the Israel Bonds delegation, which hails from the United States, Canada, Latin America and Western Europe, gave the new rails a symbolic tightening with a wrench, and then rode the new line as part of their week-long Israel 40th anniversary celebration and conference, which began Sunday.
Transport Minister Haim Corfu told the visiting Bonds leaders that the new railway was “another link in the unbreakable partnership between Israel Bonds and the State of Israel.”