Israel - General Information
- 1 Country Name
- 2 National Railway System
- 3 Official Website
- 4 Language
- 5 Currency
- 6 UIC code
- 7 Timetable
- 8 Maps
- 9 Ticketing
- 10 Infrastructure
- 11 Other Railways
- 12 Tourist Lines
- 13 Metro
- 14 Trams
- 15 Recent and future changes
- 16 Special Notes
Israel (officially the State of Israel, Medīnat Yisrā'el: יִשְׂרָאֵל,)
National Railway System
Israel Railways (Rakevet Yisra'el: רַכֶּבֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל )
Israel has two official languages, Hebrew and Arabic. Hebrew is the primary language of the state and is spoken by the majority of the population.
New shekel (₪); symbol ILS.
Numeric 95; alpha IL.
PDF timetable file. This URL may change in the future but the file can be accessed from the link next to the PDF symbol here. Although the web page is in Hebrew, the timetable files are in both English and Hebrew.
Printed timetable booklets are available for sale for the first few months after a timetable change.
Changes in rail services, including those due to engineering works can be accessed from the Home Page.
"World Rail Atlas Vol. 8 The Middle East and Caucasus" by Neil Robinson (ISBN-10: 954-12-0128-8; ISBN-13: 978-954-12-0128-2)
Thorsten Büker's Map of Israel
Wikipedia Israel Railways. Existing lines are shown in black; lines under construction or advanced planning in red; lines approved in purple. The purple line from Lod to Rosh HaAyin is an existing freight line, with a connecting curve to allow trains from Lod to access Ben Gurion Airport. The line shown in grey is an extension to Jordan.
See the Israel Railways website. A new smart card ticket "Rav Kav Card" has been introduced; a passport must be shown to purchase this card. If buying a weekly ticket it must be loaded on one of these. A photo ID is embedded onto the rear of the card, which can then be loaded at either a booking office or on a ticket machine. There is no need to take a photo; it is taken by a small camera at the ticket window and put directly on the card.
On 1 January 2016, the National Public Transport Authority launched the Public Transport Tariff Reform in four metropolitan areas of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva, giving improved ticketing options.
Israeli Railways Infrastructures Division
At present there are no electrified lines in Israel. In the spring of 2010, the government agreed the first phase of a programme to electrify 420 km of route at 25 kV 50Hz AC. The first line to be electrified is the 'A1' Jerusalem High Speed Link. The first test run with an electric locomotive took place on the first 12km electrified section of the A1 between Anava junction and Latrun Monastery in December 2017.
Rule of the road
Distances are available for some lines
Tel Aviv - Jerusalem old main line
|Tel Aviv Ha Hagana||3.1|
|Jerusalem old Main Station (closed)||86.6|
Haifa - Lebanese Border
|Bezet (no traffic)||36.5|
|Lebanese Border||about 38.5|
Haifa - Tel Aviv
|Haifa Bat Galim||3.2|
|Tel Aviv University||90.9|
|Tel Aviv Savidor Merkaz||93.2|
|Tel Aviv Ha-Shalom||94.6|
|Tel Aviv Ha-Hagana||96.9|
Lod - Gaza Strip Border
|(to Rutenberg Power Station, 5 Km)|
|Border with Gaza||about 62.4|
Na'an - Har Zin
|Be'er Sheva Tzafon||71.5|
|Be'er Sheva Merkaz (on branch)||76.2|
|Oron (freight only)||139.5|
|Har Zin (freight only)||169.6|
Jerusalem (Light Rail). A network is under construction in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
Recent and future changes
The A1 Jerusalem High Speed Line opened on 25 September 2018. It connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv (57 km) by means of a new line branching off the Ben Gurion Airport-Modi‘in line to an underground terminal in central Jerusalem. This is due to and will reduce the journey time from 1 h 23 min to 28 min. As at September 2018 only one of the two tracks is in use and electrified: a shuttle service of two trains per hour is being operated, with passengers required to change to or from diesel services at the airport. Maximum speed on the line is currently 120 km/h, less than the design speed of 160 km/h, and the journey time around 20 min. Completion of the electrification between the airport and Tel Aviv HaHagana will reduce the journey time to around 30 min for 57 km.. The existing line to Jerusalem will not close but will retain a local service. It may at some point be converted to a tram-train at the Jerusalem end, linking into the existing Light Rail system.
The 23km Akko (Acre) to Karmi’el line opened on 20 September 2017. Design work is underway on the next phase from Karmiel to Kiryat Shmona in the far north of the country.
The 60 km Valley Line from Haifa to Beit Shee'an (close to the Jordanian border), on the course of a Hedjaz railway branch closed in 1951, opened on 4 November 2016. It might one day be extended across the River Jordan to connect to a possible new line from Irbil.
The first section of the 60 km long Ashkelon – Goral Jn (– Be`er Sheva) line, from Ashkelon to Sderot, was opened on 25 December 2013. Shderot to Netivot opened in February 2015, with the final stretch via Ofakim to Goral opened on 19 September 2015, with a grade-separated junction to the main line. Ofakim station opened on 2 January 2016. The link provides a second route from Be'er Sheva to Tel Aviv for both passenger and freight trains.
A 19 km double track line from Rishon LeTsiyyon West to Bne Darom Junction, connecting with the Ashdod – Ashkelon Line, was opened in two stages: to Yavne West on 25 February 2012 and on to Bne Darom Junction on 4 August 2013. The doubling of Motzkin – Nahariyya was completed in 2013, and of Tel Aviv - Kefar Sava and Lod – Na‘an – Be`er Sheva in 2012. The new Tel Aviv-HaHagana - Rishon LeTsiyyon West line opened on 25 September 2011.
In May 2012 the cabinet approved construction of a line from Tel Aviv to Eilat to enable freight to bypass the Suez Canal. The 350km line will be for passengers and freight and is due to shorten travel time to two hours. The route is close to being finalized, will take five years to build and be funded by the Chinese. A new port will be built near Eilat, with a double track line to Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast. The main drive for this comes from increased fears of instability in Egypt.