Minister of Transportation Miri Regev announced today that she “instructed to examine the construction of a train station near the Western Wall” and this in addition to the two additional underground stations that are planned to be built in Jerusalem as part of The extension of the heavy railway which ends today in Yitzhak Navon’s ass at the entrance to the city.
This is a repeated and probably unenforceable promise, and even in the past it was planned that the station to be built near the Wall would be named after former US President Donald Trump. The plan to promote a train to the Western Wall was promoted in the past by the Ministers of Transportation Israel Katz and Bezalel Smotrich but was abandoned in favor of the plan that would lead to the establishment of the Jerusalem Central Station Near the Davidka square and the Khan station near Emek Refaim and Derech Hebron.
Just this week, the Ministry of Transportation published the “real” plan for the train stations in Jerusalem and did not mention the Western Wall. Another plan considered is the extension of the route from the Khan to the area of the historical Malha station.
The feasibility of building a train to the Western Wall is very low, and it’s not just that the Ministry of Transportation abandoned this plan even though two ministers have already tried to advance it. The construction of an underground tunnel that will reach the Wall is problematic both geologically, archaeologically and geopolitically. Geologically, the fear is that the construction of the underground railway will lead to the disruption of the water regime of the shipping dam in a way that could stop the flow of water there. From an archaeological point of view, an excavation along the route of the Old City in Jerusalem is expected to encounter countless sensitive sites that are problematic to impossible to dig through.
Beyond that, infrastructure works of this type are expected to encounter strong international opposition and in the past the Jordanian government claimed that the plan constitutes a “flagrant violation of international law”. Apart from the aforementioned, building a train station to the Wall means splitting the rail route from the central station in the city in a way that could make the operation of the train cumbersome compared to the alternative of one route.
From a transportation point of view, the professionals at the Ministry of Transportation believe that the current plans that include the construction of a train station in the city center and Khan will provide optimal transportation coverage for the city. The Ministry of Transportation and the state have other plans that will enable the establishment of a mass transit infrastructure to the Western Wall, among other things it is about the cable car to the Western Wall, which has also been criticized by environmental and archeology organizations, and the golden route of the light rail.