Sderot’s first rocket-proof railway station was inaugurated on Tuesday, December 24. The periphery city, located approximately 2.5 kilometers (one mile) from the Gaza Strip, will now have a direct access line to Tel Aviv. According to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, the new train station is the first in Israel and perhaps the world to be built with appropriate protection against rocket fire, costing NIS 50 million ($14 million).
The train station, which took more than a decade to build, is the southern point of the line that travels to Tel Aviv via Ashkelon, Ashdod, Yavne, Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam, and Holon. Israel Railways is building the line further south into the Negev desert with new stations to be opened in Netivot in 2014 and in Ofakim in 2015, and eventually connect to Be’er Sheva.