An inter-ministerial team headed by Prime Minister's Office Director General Harel Locker ruled out the construction of a railway line to Eilat.
The committee which was set up to present options for financing and implementation of the project reported that a financial cost-benefit analysis had been conducted on the planned freight and passenger service, and the conclusions were negative.
According to the report the basic cost of constructing a railway line to Eilat is NIS 30.3 billion and the state will have to subsidize it by NIS 500 million annually.
In February 2012, the government made a decision to build a railway line to Eilat. At the time, there was talk of laying double tracks from Beer sheva to Eilat, for freight and passenger trains that would be able to travel 250 Kh, and could travel from Tel Aviv to Eilat in two hours.
The budget estimate reported to the public was NIS 20 billion, and the target date for the project’s completion was five years from final approval by the planning committee.
The team ruled out the possibility of financing the project through off-budget financing from the private sector, or through a foreign government. The government appointed the Locker Committee team to recommend ways of financing the project. Representatives of the National Economic Council and the Ministries of Finance, Transport and the Environment participated in the committee.