The railway tunnel: Haifa municipality embarks on a fight over subsidence and tunneling as a condition for the electrification of the tracks - the full document • Commentary

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The Municipality of Haifa has filed an orderly document indicating that it intends to act with all its might to enable the electrification of the railways in the coastal environment, only subject to an orderly, budgeted plan that will include the tunneling and sinking of the railways within the city limits, as promised by Israel Railways, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Finance.

However, there is now a fear that the Haifa municipality will fail to prevent the removal of power cables and power poles along the coast of Haifa along the route of the existing railroad tracks.

The reason for this is that the rail electrification project is one of the most important transportation projects in the State of Israel today. Therefore, the Ministry of Transportation is expected to use all the many levers of pressure it has against the administration of the city of Haifa and its residents, until it consents to the electrification of the tracks.

Electrification of the railway - steel bridges over the tracks - Tel Aviv 2023 (Photo: Yaron Karmi)
Coming soon at Park Hecht? • Electrification of the railway - steel bridges over the tracks - Tel Aviv 2023 (photo: Yaron Karmi)

The question is whether the electrification on the existing route will be temporary or permanent (!)

We note that today it is no longer just two tracks, but a doubling to 4 tracks.

Israel Railways is working to add 2 tracks for high-speed trains (250 km/h) from the center of the country to the center of the Gulf. Therefore, the municipality will have to demand an alternative to tunneling 4 tracks through the Carmel Ridge, one that the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance will also be willing to budget and promote (according to experts, this is estimated at a cost of about 12 billion NIS.) The years after the war will be years of budgetary hardship, in light of the heavy expenses, estimated at about a billion shekels per day.

The plan to sink the existing route is expected to fail in my opinion

The sinking of the train on the existing route - the alternative promoted by the Haifa Municipality led by Kalish - a sketch on behalf of the association Representatives of Society and the Environment (AR)
The sinking of the train on the existing route - the alternative promoted by the municipality of Haifa led by Kalish - a sketch on behalf of the association Representatives of Society and the Environment (AR)

In the sketch shown here, you can see the Israel Railways plan with the support of the previous Haifa municipality, to sink the train along the existing route, that is, along the coast.

The economic benefit from the tunnel project derives first and foremost from the shortening of travel time for passengers. However, as can also be seen from the sketch, the elevated route that the municipality desired (shown in the sketch), will not result in a significant shortening of the travel time, if at all, and therefore such a project will never be budgeted, in my estimation.

Hence the solution must be in another direction:
As mentioned, the municipality, to the extent that it is really interested in clearing the tracks from the coast, will have to propose and promote a tunneling alternative that will generate the economic benefit required to finance and budget for a 4-track tunneling, i.e. a project that will shorten the route and save energy and money on each and every trip (a train passes every few minutes and therefore A significant shortening of the route will save a lot of money)

A project with economic viability, which dramatically shortens the travel route, was indeed proposed (and has already been found more appropriate by the Ministry of Transportation), but the municipality opposed and still opposes such a project.

An alternative to the Sedra tunnel - an elevator tunnel under Carmel (sketch by Dvir Langer)
An alternative to the Sedra tunnel - a lift tunnel under Carmel (sketch by Dvir Langer)

The municipality wants the residents of the north to pass through all Haifa stations

And why did the Haifa municipality oppose (and we hope it will change its position) such a tunnel?
In my opinion, there is something more important to the Haifa municipality than the rail tunnel. The municipality does not want the residents of the north to have easy access to the center of the country, to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Beer Sheva.

The municipality wants the residents of the north to pass through all Haifa stations on the way to the center of the country. The Sdera tunnel was labeled as "bypassing" the city of Haifa by the most senior officials in the city.

The Shidra tunnel may actually advance the city of Haifa in a variety of significant projects:

• Removal of the polluting industry from the Gulf - through the sale of land for housing (140,000 units). Shortening the travel time from one hour and 13 minutes to only about 24 minutes, between the Gulf center and Tel Aviv, will lead to a significant improvement in the value of the land and the migration of businesses and residents to the vicinity of the Gulf.

• MTM 2 - a new high-tech park in the vicinity of the Gulf center, will result in increased property tax payments for the well-being of the residents of the city of Haifa. Such a high-tech park will also serve the residents of the entire north of the country.

• Better transportation accessibility for the residents of Neve Shanan, Kiryat Haim, the Gulf and more.

• And in our case - the Shidra tunnel, in view of excess economic benefit (of about NIS 6 billion), will actually allow budgeting for the removal of the tracks from the Haifa coast. This last point is a bit complex, so it has not been taken into account by the decision makers in the city so far.

Where the municipality will continue to oppose the only economic solution that was presented for a 4-rail tunnel (see Shidra Tunnel above), in the end such a tunnel will nevertheless be built (because it is very viable from a transportation-economic point of view), just without providing a solution for the existing rails on the coast.

► Reminder - interview with Yona Yahav - March 2017:
The status of the train sinking project - a face-to-face conversation with Yona Yahav

The status of the train sinking project - a conversation at eye level - Yaron Karmi with Yona Yahav

Still, what is the solution (in terms of the fight against Israel Railways)?

The most realistic way to ensure the removal of the tracks is the cancellation of National Infrastructure Plan 65A (Taylor 65A). According to this plan, the new tracks for the high-speed train (250 km/h) will only reach the Carmel Beach station.

The railway tunnel in Haifa - an alternative according to subtal 65a - sketch on behalf of the association Representatives of Society and the Environment (AR)
The railway tunnel in Haifa - an alternative according to Subtal 65a - sketch on behalf of the association Representatives of Society and the Environment (AR)

Instead of this plan (Taal 65a), the municipality must demand that an alternative plan be promoted, according to which the tunnels for the new tracks will be routed from the vicinity of the stadium (Sami Ofer) to the Kiryat Havaler station (regarding the possibility of passing through Bat Galim, this will be decided as part of the procedure for examining alternatives in the planning institutions) .

In the meantime, the municipality also opposed this alternative (alternative 11) as part of two petitions to the High Court submitted by public officials.

The High Court hearing is approaching...

The way to clear the tracks from the coastal area is through the cancellation of Subtal 65A. If the municipality really wants to achieve a significant solution with the Israel Railways, then it is appropriate to stand up against the railway's plan to finish the new tracks at the Carmel Beach station.

A video introducing the topic

The letter from the Municipality of Haifa - here for your reference:

A reminder of the project status in March 2017

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Dvir Langer
Dvir Langer
A lawyer who represents various public bodies regarding national infrastructures.

More articles from the same reporter

36 תגובות

  1. Hello to viewers of the article and to those interested in the topic
    Following on from my previous response and Dvir Langer's current article, I must emphasize that the path chosen by the Haifa Municipality will not lead it to prevent the tracks from the Carmel Beach hotels and south of it on the ground. If the Tel/65/b plan is also approved, it will perpetuate the tracks on the ground in the This, including the overhead electrification, includes acoustic walls and a new station building on the ground at the HaCarmel Beach station. Includes severe traffic problems at the Matam intersection due to giving priority to the private vehicle instead of public transportation as I mentioned in my previous response.
    The only way to prevent this is for the Municipality of Haifa to join the petition that was submitted in order to have Tel/65/A revoked.
    This procedure recreates a procedure for examining alternatives, which will allow finding an alternative in which the tracks will not remain on the ground, and will also allow the residents of the north, the Kiryat and Neve Shanan and its immediate surroundings, all of whom are residents of Haifa, to significantly reduce their travel time to the south.
    The insistence of individual elements in the municipality on the boulevard prevents them from joining the existing petition that would disqualify Tel/65/a, which is bad for all the residents of the north, including Haifa, which is supposed to bear the title of the capital of the north.
    I appeal to those of you, who have contacts with members of senior positions in the city council, to contact them in order to prevent the approaching catastrophe.
    I will be ready to meet at any time, and convince that this is the only way to avoid it.
    There is a very short window of time left to respond to the petition!!!

    Dov Halevi - former manager of the railway's planning department, and later an external consultant for the railway and for this program

  2. I did not understand. All these years talk about the "train buffer" without taking into account that as long as there is no alternative to connect the train from the south, from Tel Aviv to Haifa and the north during landfill or tunneling or any other alternative, it is impossible to deal with the so-called "train buffer"

    • right. Those who talk about a tunnel do not understand how expensive it is, do not understand that during the tunnel they will have to travel home from Tel Aviv by bus or private car in traffic jams. This is the result of confusion of the brains of various businessmen who wanted to be elected mayor and made the residents of Haifa crazy about how harmful electrification is. And how much tunneling is needed. The explanations of experts that as long as there is no eastern alternative to the train movement between the north and Haifa to the south there is no alternative to the train passing through Haifa.

  3. From what the experts describe in the comments and in the article, it seems that the railroad and the government are determined to harm Haifa. They are shown a much better alternative of a tunnel, but the officials in Jerusalem turn a deaf ear and added to this damage a cliché and the failed city engineer Waterman who really demanded that the railroad continue to cause huge damage to Haifa with the electrification and with the huge station that will destroy the beach The Carmel as described to us by an expert engineer who worked for Israel Railways Dov Halevi.
    It is recommended to read the damages that will be caused by the plans that the promoters describe that will literally destroy the beach
    Why not stop and return the tunneling program????
    They have already done the Carmel tunnels in a short time and maybe we will finally get large and comfortable train stations
    Like in Europe in the city center instead of wasting time traveling to two small docks in Carmel Beach!

  4. Paniyas in Haifa are not ready
    After all, electrifying a track will cause grief to the laminate of the track, won't it?
    Is Father Khushi ready to take a risk?

  5. A tunnel will cost a huge fortune and it does not seem that the state in this situation will allocate money for it, instead it is possible to build dozens of pedestrian bridges over the tracks and make a direct connection from the Carmel to the sea

    • Muti, you say a tunnel will cost a huge fortune
      Interestingly, they always scare us with a huge fortune
      The state is going to spend NIS 200 billion for the metro in Gush Dan, an initial amount
      Sorry, let's say the tunnel will cost NIS 20 billion, isn't it worth all the land that will be freed up for marketing along the coast? Isn't it worth the shorter time to the whole north via Haifa? Is it not worth the benefit to the residents of Haifa to promote the development of the Check Post district with a fast station from it to Tel Aviv?
      It's worth it too!!! The benefit is also a huge fortune.

    • Yael R. You are right about the budgeting of the project. The shortening of travel time by about 22 minutes for trips from the center of the Gulf and south (about 82% of the trips, about 110,00 trips per day), is worth about 11 billion NIS according to the "Procedure for Transport Projects (Procedure for Transport)". The cost of a full tunnel ( Sketch of alternatives 11 and another Sedara tunnel (alternative 20 above) - about NIS 9.5 billion. Therefore, there is benefit over cost here and the project will also be budgeted.

      Beyond that, it is worth noting that the plan that was approved (Taylor 65a) and promoted (with the blessing of the Haifa Municipality), is about a monstrous Carmel Beach station (which was well described by Dov Halevi in ​​his response). This station will cost about NIS 3 billion, since it is an engineering structure under a huge in front of the sea and near the sea. That is, NIS 3 billion without advancing one meter through the mountain tunnel. Furthermore, this station will cause traffic-economic damage, because of the delay that will be caused to all passengers north of the Carmel Beach station who will have to change trains (with luggage on their way to Israel) A delay of about 14 minutes.

      So this is the comparison between the proposed alternative and the actually promoted alternative (as stated with the blessing of the Haifa municipality until the publication date of the ombudsman's letter presented in the article).

  6. Supports the Hammanhor proposal up to the center of the bay. will allow the fastest transportation for the residents of Haifa, the Gulf and the Galilee and will remove the railway tracks from the Haifa beaches and above all will prevent the electrification along the Haifa beaches

  7. In short, they take our natural landscape and destroy it with concrete. I enjoy watching the scenery when I travel by train. I don't want to see gray concrete.
    Regarding the electrification of the train, it is much better. Understands even the streets of the train are already on electricity.

    • Hagit, this is a very lost response.
      You have the sea view on the train before entering Haifa along the sea.
      There is no reason to destroy the entire coastline with electricity for the residents of Haifa
      You were probably sent by the railway to do spinology here
      If that's the arguments they came up with it's even worse.

  8. I am in favor of any solution that keeps the sea front as clean and open as possible. There are almost no more open beaches left in the country and everything possible should be done to prevent the destruction of Haifa beach even more than it is already destroyed (military, etc.).
    Also, the Galilee longs for a faster connection with the center. The Galilee was badly damaged in the current war and we need to think about our future as well.

  9. Folk moves to finish or start
    1. The grain
    2. An old Egged Bat Galim switchboard
    3. Dolphin bridge intersection
    4. Bat Galim casino building
    5. Nazareth light rail
    6. Cruise to Acre
    7. Gesher Bat Galim, Teilat Huldah Rambam Siyum
    8. Haifa metropolis bike lanes
    9. Svedra tunnel train or transfer through the Carmel tunnels
    10. Beautiful sailing center Bat Galim Allenby
    11. The Stella Maris cable car is part of public transportation and the addition of cable cars
    12. Lower City Development
    13. Opening the city to the sea .. a marina around the city
    14. The opening of the German Colony Boulevard to the sea
    15. Improvement of urban appearance, strengthening of buildings, evacuation, construction
    16. Electrification of all vehicles and public transportation
    17. Making places accessible to the disabled
    18. Sea Research Building, improving visibility and sea view
    19. Construction in gradual height... to allow the sea view and not block it
    20. Bicycle and electric scooter rental throughout the city promotion
    21. Polluting factories, making them non-polluting or moving them
    22. Wonderful international airport
    23. International cruise from Haifa to other countries of the world
    24. Railway improvement of carriages and electrification
    25. Extension of Hecht Park and stretching it at the beginning and end
    26. Promotion of music, art and fusion between cultures
    27. Mobile libraries.. an abstract idea.. mobile vans of libraries for renting books with coffee and internet points throughout the city
    28. Health promotion and the health system in the city
    29. Water sports
    30. Amusement park attractions and such
    31. Promotion of green energy, solar wind, sea waves and more
    32. Cycle
    33. Solve the problem of pigs and dog poop in a proper way
    34. Thanks

  10. As I wrote in response to all the articles on this website and others, including to members of the public, there is and will never be sedimentation along the coast, in ground with groundwater, a future rise in sea level, fuel pipelines and leaving the existing route inaccessible to 60 percent of Haifa residents who are required to make long trips to the train station (about 20 minutes from most of the Carmel ridge, as well as Usafia, Dalia, Nesher).
    Just as the Carmel tunnels were carried out in 3 years, the tunneling of the existing 2 tracks and the addition of 2 future tracks must be promoted in a similar way to the Petah bridge at the Carmel tunnels. A gradual rise in the Carmel Castle area, moving the Carmel Beach station to the west and opening an entrance to the railway tunnels in the Wadi Azov area adjacent to the Shmuel Arad Bridge, from there to a multi-level underground station in Wadi HaGivori that will serve all of Carmel, to the Haifa Bay station that will in the future serve its redevelopment into huge neighborhoods and from there to the north.
    There is no sense in leaving the train on the coastal route, which is also climatically problematic, also takes up space for development and promenades, also crosses the downtown and will soon with huge fences of electricity poles block our entire coastline like the picture in the article, also adds 15 minutes to the travel time to serve Bat Galim and the lower city that can be served by a suburban train that will connect to the station in Nahal HaGivori and to the station in Haifa Bay.
    Simply irrationality combined with a planning lag or unwillingness to develop Haifa and an attempt to block its development for many decades to come because it is clear to everyone that there will be no subsidence and the "temporary" electrification will become a permanent nuisance with 4 tracks
    If they end up in Hecht Park, if they end up in Bat Galim, if they end up in the lower city, everything will be locked up in the huge electrification wall. Understand where the mayor marched Haifa with his agreement to an imaginary subsidence, and also what was signed was subsidence only along Hecht Park, which means that all the nuisance from Bat Galim north to Kiryat will remain through Haifa.
    It destroyed Haifa for decades to come. It was not for nothing that Huldai demanded that the light rail be built in Tel Aviv, and like this the development along the area that the coastal railways will clear will finance the tunnel through the mountain which will take exactly 4 years to produce just like the Carmel tunnels and it will pay back many times the investment.
    It should be absolutely ridiculous not to support the tunnel just to keep the Bat Galim station and the center of the eight that can be served with a suburban train that will connect to the high-speed railways.

  11. As a railway man for 27 years, of which as director of the railway planning department and later as a statutory consultant, who also accompanied Tetel/65, I absolutely support the position presented by Dvir Langer.
    I will also add a number of facts that are unknown to the Haifa public and the residents of the Kiryat and the north of the country, and perhaps also to some of the members of the Haifa City Council, that perhaps another part of them knows but ignores them:
    A. As part of Tel/65/a, it is about the construction of a monstrous concrete station, excavated in the coastal environment and to the west
    to the Carmel beach station, and in the water whose dimensions are: about a kilometer long and about 40 meters wide, which is about half the length
    station and at a depth of about 22 meters.
    This building will include 4 tracks and two island docks, technical systems, and parking for over 1,000 private vehicles.
    Also, more parking spaces on the ground and in the coastal area will be prepared for over 4,000 parking spaces.
    As a result: the traffic jams at the Matam intersection will be much longer than the current situation, in addition, the passengers in the private vehicles
    Those who choose to park underground will be delayed and waste precious time, both due to the security check and due to finding a place
    Parking and walking from the parking lot to the platforms. So are the passengers in the private vehicles that will be parked on the ground.
    This is negligent conduct, that instead of encouraging the use of public transportation, the use of the car is actually encouraged
    the private
    Also, the ramps of Highway 4 that connect to and over Highway 2 will be extended by hundreds of meters of concrete bridges at a glance
    West towards the sea, and a larger and new station building will be built on the ground.
    B. In addition, if there was an understanding that the continuation plan, Tel/65/B would sink the existing tracks that would be used
    Further to the suburban trains, it is wrong and even misleading. In fact, Tel/65/B will perpetuate the existing situation of two
    Rails on the ground, with the train electrification network, and with acoustic walls, starting from the Carmel Beach hotels and south
    From there, in the most sensitive place in Haifa.
    third. And if the follow-up plan is also approved, 4 tunnels will be built inside Haifa, with complicated implementation problems under
    Urban infrastructures, and pilings of existing buildings, and of execution problems of future buildings above
    these tunnels.
    d. The follow-up plan produces a station in the Kiryat Hamel area, which is underground at a depth of 50 meters in water
    and on two floors, a floor for the high-speed rails, and a floor for the suburban rails, with vertical connections between them.
    I don't know of such a station in the world, and I doubt if such a station will be approved, and/or financed.
    God. Implementation of Tel/65/A will extend the travel time for northerners and the residents of the Kiryats and the Neve Shanan neighborhood and more, due to the need
    that this plan will require changing trains to high-speed trains, instead of significantly shortening the travel time
    As stated in the plan according to written instructions of the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of the Interior.
    And in conclusion - in order to avoid the failures that this alternative creates and that it will be billions of shekels more expensive than an effective alternative
    more and cheaper, and that it was not considered, as required in the railway's strategic plan, the obligation to cancel Titel/65/a is required,
    and to re-examine in a serious manner the alternatives in Haifa, so that tracks on the ground will not be perpetuated, and that they
    will significantly reduce travel time.

    Dov Halevi

  12. Good Morning.
    Every time I receive a report from you about the state of railway development in the north, I admire your courage to act for future generations and change the history of our country and its people.
    Hopefully more people will be exposed to this information and try to follow this smart and logical path
    Only the Shadira tunnel will solve the problems of most of the residents of the north, and not the urban needs of the Haifa municipality will dictate our needs.
    Good luck and keep it up. We are all with you

  13. The Sedra Tunnel, the Hemetz to Atlit exchange, will bring the Kiryats, Acre, Nahariya, Nazareth, Karmiel, Ma'alot and the entire Galilee very close to the center of the country.
    Precisely now, in the war, and in the catastrophic neglect of Otaf Lebanon -
    The boulevard tunnel is essential for the future of the north!
    Haifa will also benefit from the reduction in the number of vehicles that pass through the city, on their way to the center, do not buy anything, block roads, and the Carmel tunnels, and pollute the air. Only in this way will we all have a fast and high-quality solution by train!

  14. The boulevard tunnel is so logical and required - therefore its chances are slim. The ongoing cost of the war also consumes infrastructure development. Therefore, the transportation isolation of the North will only increase.

  15. The railway crossing in Haifa should be completely abandoned, this will finally open the sea to the residents and it will also be possible to profit from the land that will be vacated. Alternatively, a new road that will solve the problem of going from Haifa to Kiryat. A resident of Haifa who wants to go to Tel Aviv will arrive either at the heart of the bay, or at a new station near the football stadium. Those who want to get to Haifa will get off at these two stations and travel by metro.

    • Right
      The alternative and the most efficient, wise and good solution is the boulevard tunnel that allows the passage of the train
      Or move the train through the Carmel tunnels to the Gulf station from the Carmel beach and thus open up the sea front in Haifa like all the cities in the world thank you

  16. One might think that Haifa is so big that it must have 4 stations, but in fact one station in the center of the Gulf or in Kiryat Shvarer would save everyone travel time and of course would allow the evacuation of at least 10 km of the longest railway barrier in Israel.

    • Excellent and accurate
      Ash to give up the central Hasmona and Bat Galim stations and get to central stations other than the Carmel or the Faretz via metro or buses
      And if you really have to, then move the train through the Sedara tunnels or through the Carmel tunnels

  17. The municipality of Haifa is an obstacle to the development and prosperity of the north. The residents of the Western Galilee were taken hostage by Yona Yahav who represents a narrow, non-economic interest that has no grasp of reality.
    Only those who do not believe in their city and its ability to attract economic forces force themselves on others!

  18. Why do the residents of the north have to go through all Haifa stations? The new plan should serve us for tens if not a hundred years, there is no reason for us to go through all the stations in Haifa, maybe we will also go through all the coastal stations? (Atlit, Zichron the future, Binyamina, Pardes Hana and many other small ones).
    The absolute majority want to continue south and as quickly as possible, the boulevard tunnel guarantees maximum speed and also turns the Bay center into a central station for the Haifa metropolis (the Transport HUB concept is known to be particularly effective).
    Another advantage of the plan is that in the event that the suburban train leaves the ground right at the stadium station, the coast line accessible to Haifa will be maximized and will create additional economic opportunities for the city of the north.

    • About 85% of the trips from the center of the bay and to the south are expected to be through the Sedara tunnel

  19. We have waited far too long for the Carmel tunnels, which in between have also greatly improved the situation on the axis of independence.
    We must not wait so long for the only solution that really makes sense, the boulevard tunnel.
    It makes no sense that the residents of Acre, Nahariya, Karmiel, Kiryat Shmona, the Kiryats would make a long and horribly slow detour through Haifa.

  20. Indeed, Haifa needs a completely different solution that will maximize the maximum benefits and eliminate all the terrible defects that the rail electrification project will inflict on Haifa. No Haifai wants to see a forest of unbelievably ugly power poles along the beach. No Haifai wants to perpetuate for another generation the rail buffer that prevents the growth of the city towards the sea. No Haifai, and no traveler from the north of our city, wants to change trains at the Carmel Beach station, on the way to Tel Aviv or to Israel and back... and these are just some of the many flaws and difficulties that the plan will create for our city. This is indeed another cry for generations that Klish supported with inexplicable difficulty!! What the plans of the railway administration and the planning administration impose on us for many years to come is intolerable. Unfortunately, all the appeals we submitted (Avihu Hahn, Moti Blitzblau, Shmuelik Galbhart, Anouchi and also Dvir Langer, heads of authorities outside Haifa and environmental organizations) were not accepted and no one knows if we will ever get rid of this horrible punishment. However, the author of the article is not Haifai and cannot represent the Haifai interest. The solution for us should be unequivocal: to stop the overhead electrification on the one hand and to tunnel the track between South Haifa and Kiryat Shrovetide, without interrupting the track continuity between the city and the center of the country.
    We must not give up on the tunnel that we proposed between these two points... and surprisingly, in the end, it turned out to be financially more profitable than the completely unnecessary replica investments planned by reckless planners, when the way was accelerated for the railway management to electrify the track in Haifa and without taking into account the damages they would cause, in terms of - "whatever it costs "…!

    • First, the road on Yad Labanim Street in Haifa must be repaired. They have been working for a year without results

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