Jerusalem light rail takes maiden voyage


(JTA) — A long-awaited light rail system in Jerusalem carried its first travelers after years of delay.

The train took its inaugural trip Friday morning, traveling a 8.5-mile route from Mount Herzl in West Jerusalem, passing through eastern Jeruselum to end in Pisgat Ze’ev.

The light rail project was originally initiated in 1995 by then mayor Ehud Olmert, who promised a light rail within 5 years, but the project has since been plagued by delays.

The discovery of graves along the route forced adjustments after pressure from Orthodox Jews, while the find by archaeologists of ancient bathhouses and a 6th-century monastery caused further delays. Palestinians opposed the train for linking the west and east sides of Jerusalem.

The project cost an estimated $1.4 billion.

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