After an 11-year delay, the new high-speed rail link between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem began running on Saturday night, Dec. 21.

The rail line cost approximately NIS 7 billion ($2 billion) to construct, with some estimates ranging as high as NIS 9 billion ($2.6 billion).

The Jerusalem station is 80 meters underground, making it one of the deepest railway stations in the world. Travel time on the new route is 30 minutes—a third of the time taken by the old Jerusalem-Tel Aviv railway line.

“This route will become popular when people realize its major advantages in traveling between Israel’s two biggest cities over any other mode of transportation,” said an Israeli Transportation Ministry source familiar with the project, according to a report in Globes. “Demand for the route will rise steadily, and it will become one of the most popular routes in Israel Railways’ schedule, if not the most popular of all. It is changing the situation of people working in Jerusalem and living in Tel Aviv, and vice versa.”

Extensions to the fast rail’s route are planned in the future, according to a senior Israel Railways source.

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