Before the official opening next month freight trains will run over the Shekels 2bn ($US 530m) line to bed in the track.

Initially passenger trains will call at Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot, and Beer-Sheva, with a further station at Ofakim due to open at the end of the year.

From next year the line will be used by 25 trains per day in each direction.