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Tel Aviv starts light rail service

Red Line in the middle of city streets as low-floor light rail | © UTM Archiv

Another large city joins the ranks of the world’s metropolises where modern light rail systems are making a decisive contribution to improving public transport:

We are talking about Tel Aviv in Israel. After long years of planning, searching for funding, redesigning and rescheduling, and finally construction with various delays, the Red Line goes into operation today as the first part of a new light rail system. Partly in a tunnel, but on about half of the route also above ground, the new, first line runs over 24 km and serves 34 stops. 10 of them are underground – here the average distance between stations is about 1,000 metres, while above ground it is only about half that. Within the Gush Dan – the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Region – the line passes through the districts of Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan, Bat Yam and Tel Aviv Central Area. The railway is officially called Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area’s Light Rail, with the brand name “Dankal”.

HaBesht | © UTM Archiv
Along a wide avenue while preserving the tree population | © UTM Archiv
Elifelet | © UTM Archiv
© UTM Archiv
© NTA Press
Another network map is available here:

The Red Line uses a total of 90 low-floor light rail cars delivered by Chinese manufacturer CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co, Ltd since 2021. They are each 34.78m long, 2.65m wide and can accommodate up to 274 passengers. They operate exclusively in double traction as coupled pairs. With a total of 45 such trainsets, there is sufficient capacity for the 6-minute intervals on the line during rush hour.

Double-traction trainset on the new HaBesht stop | © UTM Archiv
South of Tel Aviv city centre | © UTM Archiv

The Red Line is part of a light rail network consisting of initially three lines in the Gush Dan metropolitan area, which is to be fully operational with a length of 90 km and 139 stations by the end of this decade. The other two lines – the Purple Line and the Green Line, have also been under construction since 2017. Passenger numbers on this network are expected to be around 230 million, of which around 70 million will be on the Red Line, equivalent to approximately 234,000 on an average working day according to current estimates by NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd, the publicly owned operator of the new light rail system.

In addition to the new light rail network no less than three metro lines and a Bus Rapid Transit network will be built – the opening date for the first metro lines is currently scheduled for 2032.

We have already reported on the light rail plans in Tel Aviv here:



Depot | © CREC