Originally published in The Jerusalem Post
A train station that will be built not far from the Western Wall will be named after US President Donald Trump.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday: “The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to name the train station that leads to it after President Trump — following his historic and brave decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”
Katz approved the construction plans. They will include a 3km tunnel from the nearly completed Uma (nation) station, which will be named after late president Yitzhak Navon and is near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, to the Cardo in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, not far from the Western Wall.
In between the Uma/Navon station and the Jewish Quarter stop, there will be a station in downtown Jerusalem, at the intersection of King George and Jaffa roads.
Katz said that he sees the project of extending the length of the railway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as the most important national project, and ordered officials in the Transportation Ministry to define it as a top priority.
In a statement, Katz said that the total cost of this project will be NIS 2.5 billion.
“Some 11 million Jews and tourists from the entire visit the Kotel annually. According to the plan, two underground stations will be built — each at a depth of 52 meters,” he said, so as not to destroy archaeological remains.
Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia told The Jerusalem Post that if there are no unforeseen delays, this project could be finished in five years.
“This project is now awaiting a discussion in the National Infrastructure Planning Committee.
When it is discussed there, it means that it receives priority in its advancement and in carrying out the project,” he said.
“It passed a preliminary approval, and now it will be further discussed — and this phase takes around a year. After that, carrying out the project will take around four to five years, if no problems will occur,” he said.