Israel - General Information

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Country Name

Israel (officially the State of Israel, Medīnat Yisrā'el: יִשְׂרָאֵל‎,)

National Railway System

Israel Railways (Rakevet Yisra'el: רַכֶּבֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל‎‎ )

Official Website

www.rail.co.il

Language

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.

Currency

New shekel (₪‎); symbol ILS.

UIC code

Numeric 95; alpha IL.

Timetable

Journey Planner

rail.co.il

Downloadable Timetable

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

Printed timetable booklets are available for sale for the first few months after a timetable change.

Engineering Information

Changes in rail services, including those due to engineering works can be accessed from the Home Page.

Bus Information

Not known

Maps

Printed Maps

"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)

Web-based Maps

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.

Ticketing

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.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure Authority

Israeli Railways Infrastructures Division

Network Statement

None known

Gauge

Standard.

Electrification

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

Left.

Distances

Distances are available for some lines

Tel Aviv - Jerusalem old main line

Tel Aviv Ha Hagana 3.1
Kfar Habbad 12.7
Lod 19.7
Ramleh 21.6
Na'an 28.9
Bet Shemesh 50.2
Bar Giyyora 63.2
Bittir 75.7
Jerusalem Zoo 80.2
Jerusalem Malha 81.3
Jerusalem old Main Station (closed) 86.6

Haifa - Lebanese Border

Haifa Mizrah 0
Zomet Zvulun 2.1
Lev HaMifraz 3.8
Hutzot HaMifraz 6.3
Qiryat Haim 8.2
Qiryat Motzkin 9.2
Akko 20.7
Nahariyya 29.5
Bezet (no traffic) 36.5
Lebanese Border about 38.5

Haifa - Tel Aviv

Haifa Mizrah 0
Haifa Merkaz 1.4
Haifa Bat Galim 3.2
Hof ha-Karmel 9.3
Atlit 20.5
Zikhron-Ya'aqov 34.6
Binyamina 41.1
Qesaryya Pardes-Hanna 44.3
Hadera Maarav 52.1
Kfar Vitkin 58.4
Netanya 65.9
Bet Yehoshu'a 72.3
Herzliyya 84.0
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

Lod 111.0
Be'er Ya'akov 115.9
Rehovot 119.8
Yavne Mizrach 128.0
Ashdod Ad-Halom 140.3
Ashqelon 152.9
Shiqma Junction 159.3
(to Rutenberg Power Station, 5 Km)
Yad Mordechai 56.7
Border with Gaza about 62.4

Na'an - Har Zin

Na'an 0
Qiryat Gat 31.9
Be'er Sheva Tzafon 71.5
Be'er Sheva Merkaz (on branch) 76.2
Dimona 108.9
Oron (freight only) 139.5
Har Zin (freight only) 169.6

Other Railways

None.

Tourist Lines

None.

Metro

None.

Trams

Jerusalem (Light Rail). A network is under construction in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

Recent and future changes

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.

The most significant new project is the Jerusalem High Speed Link Project, connecting 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 open in April 2018 and will reduce the journey time from 1 h 23 min to 28 min. 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. 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.

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.

Special Notes

None