ISRAEL Railways (IR) has released details of the reconstruction of Tel Aviv Savidor station, which is being upgraded to cope with rising passenger numbers and to provide an interchange with the Red Line light rail line, which is due to open in November. Daily patronage at the station is expected to increase from 50,000 a day currently to 75,000 in 2025.

The upgrade of the station, which first opened on April 11 1954, is costing around Sheckles 20m ($US 6m).

The existing passenger hall will be expanded by 750m2 to more than 13,000m2, with a large shopping area. IR says this is similar to stations overseas, which often feature “lively leisure and commercial centres, serving not only as a transit station for passengers, but also as active centres in the heart of the urban fabric, accessible by train service throughout the day.”

The renovation also includes replacement of flooring, infrastructure and roofs. The front of the historic station entrance will also receive a unique design that will incorporate classic cladding.

The station ticket offices have been upgraded and adapted for passengers with reduced mobility. The entrance was separated from the exit at the station, and expanded to serve as a new dining area, while the exits were fitted with turnstiles suitable for passengers with wheelchairs and strollers.

The new project follows an upgrade launched two and a half years ago to construct a new passenger hall north of the old passenger hall, which significantly improved access from the northern neighbourhoods of Tel Aviv.

Detailed features on IR’s new EMU fleet and Tel Aviv’s new Red Line appear in the May issue of IRJ.