Train Travel in Israel

January 17, 2013 by

Suggested Itineraries, Things To Do, Travel Tips

Trains Entering Tel-Aviv HaShalom Station

Trains Entering Tel-Aviv HaShalom Station. Photo courtesy of Omer Simkha via Flickr.

Traffic on the roads of Israel can be tough to handle sometimes, but the recent construction of train lines has made life easier for the weary traveler. As they are, the trains have great routes, including several that are intercity and go through major tour hubs. In short, train travel in Israel is both inexpensive and pretty comfortable.

With four stations in Tel Aviv alone, one could travel by train from the airport and wind up in one of Nahariya, beautiful Haifa, Beer Sheva or the old city, Jerusalem. Among the other available lines are more residential areas like Bet Shemesh, but also Modiin and Kfar Sava.

There are also plans in the works for more routes, including a high-speed train between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, via Ben Gurion International Airport.

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What is fun about taking the trains is that on some lines there are comfortable double-decker carriages, while the ride from Jerusalem and Bet Shemesh, for example, provides a most relaxing and scenic view of Israel’s dry, but hill strewn countryside.

Israel Railways, as it is called, also happens to save travelers quite a bit of time wasted sitting in dense traffic coming out of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The latest addition to the train lines include a route, opened just this year, moving between the suburban areas of Bat Yam, Holon and Rishon LeZion, a wonderfully coastal town home of the first Zionest settlement in Israel.

For those train enthusiasts out there, there is even a nice Railway Museum to visit out in the old Turkish-era station at Haifa Mizrah. Complete with visual and textual history of the area’s first rail in the 19th century, the museum also affords a lovely panoramic view of trains passing through the city and Mount Carmel.

- John Reality

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