Haifa’s Carmelit rail system has resumed operations after being closed for some four months.
The train line was closed after faults were discovered during a routine inspection of the cable that pulls the trains. Officials chose to shutter the entire system in order to replace the faulty cable.
In order to make the necessary repairs, the old cable was cut and replaced with a new cable that was purchased in Switzerland and arrived in Haifa early last week. A team of Swiss experts assisted in installing the new cable, which is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long and weighs roughly 30 tons.
Carmelit CEO Avishai Hadar called the train line a symbol for Haifa itself – “the shortest subway system in the world, a safe line that contributes to quality of life in Haifa, with no accidents,” he said.
Aside from the installation of the new cable, a new ticketing system was introduced to allow passengers to use Rav Kav cards, which are also used to purchase rides on other modes of public transportation.
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav expressed hope that the move will lead to increased use of public transportation, “will expose Haifa residents to the advantages of using the Carmelit, reduce use of pollution-making cars, and increase quality of life in the city.”
The Carmelit system was first opened in 1959 and operated until 1986, when it was closed for major renovations. In 1992, the funicular railway was reopened. Roughly 1 million people use it every year, according to Carmelit’s own figures.