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Light train in Jerusalem
Photo: Zvi Lavi
Tracks to reach Western Wall?
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Train to the Western Wall
Jerusalem Municipality holds secret meeting in which plans are unveiled for extension of city's light train to Dung Gate, just minute's walk from holy site; tunnel through Mt. Zion also proposed

Jerusalem's new light train may reach the Western Wall, according to a meeting held by the capital's municipality, in the civil engineer's office. The meeting, which took place on June 25, was kept under wraps for fear that its subject would enrage representatives of the three faiths in the city.

 

Jerusalem's leaders fear that the close proximity of the train's path to the Old City and the cemetery nearby may destabilize the delicate balance between the religions, and invoke a protest fueled by local aggravation.

 

The proposal for the train's new path was offered as a solution to the Old City's chronic traffic congestion, specifically near the Western Wall. Jerusalem Municipality's transportation department prepared a plan for the limitation of traffic within the Old City, in addition to a plan for the improvement of public transport in the area.

 

However it didn't take long to rule out all options other than the train, which would circle the city's walls until reaching the Dung Gate, which is just one minute's walk from the Western Wall. Architects have planned for the train to pass through Mt. Zion, and an underground tunnel has been planned for this purpose.

 

Construction on the new plan, which is to extend the route of the already approved tracks, may last two to three years, and some of the residents living close to the route may have to evacuate the area in return for compensation.

 

The meeting was kept secret, but participants planned to announce its conclusions before the media once the plans had been completed and approved, in a press conference with the participation of representatives of the Old City's four quarters – Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian.

 

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