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HSR line in Israel to start service

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Does this mean the scenic old route (which was originally narrow guage) is being abandoned?

 

I hope they can somehow keep it for its touristic value.

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One other interesting thing Israel is doing is it is electrifying its entire railroad system. Apparently they think that they can make use of the abundant Solar supply that they have, backed with battery storage and infill generators to run their entire railroad. Quite an impressive national goal.

 

The current problem has to do with completing electrification to Hashalom. That is why Netanyahu can do his run only upto Ben Gurion Airport. Incidentally the line is already quite convenient to take from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv Hashalom using the current diesel trains. Been there, done that.

 

The extension of the line in Jerusalem will take many years to complete, and who knows what the political situation will in the world when it is completed in the next decade at some point.

 

There have been some rumblings about keeping the old Jaffa - Jerusalem Line in operation as a tourist railroad of some sort.

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There have been some rumblings about keeping the old Jaffa - Jerusalem Line in operation as a tourist railroad of some sort.

 

I think running anything to Jaffa would be impossible because the continuation from Tel Aviv to the original Jaffa terminus was abandoned several decades ago The reason for the abandonment was apparently that the city of Jaffa had their eyes on the land. So I expect it has long ago been put to other uses, which probably means built on, in other words, that line is not coming back, not even for tourists. Apparently the old Jaffa station building is still there and in some sort of use, although I've never seen it myself. Apparently a short peice of track has been put back to remind people of its former use. One day the Tel_Aviv light rail / metro might go there.

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There have been some rumblings about keeping the old Jaffa - Jerusalem Line in operation as a tourist railroad of some sort.

 

I think running anything to Jaffa would be impossible because the continuation from Tel Aviv to the original Jaffa terminus was abandoned several decades ago The reason for the abandonment was apparently that the city of Jaffa had their eyes on the land. So I expect it has long ago been put to other uses, which probably means built on, in other words, that line is not coming back, not even for tourists. Apparently the old Jaffa station building is still there and in some sort of use, although I've never seen it myself. Apparently a short peice of track has been put back to remind people of its former use. One day the Tel_Aviv light rail / metro might go there.

 

Nothing runs to Jaffa anymore and AFAIK hasn't since about 1948. The original station site is a nice tourist open mall with very nice restaurants, with remnants of the old station repurposed and integrated into the mall. I have been there to have dinner at various establishments in that area many times.

 

The original Jerusalem Railway line (now Standard Gauge) connects to the line in the median of the Ayalon that runs into Hashalom station and thence on to HaHagana station in Tel Aviv and further north to Haifa. The old line to Jerusalem through the Judean Hills was converted to Standard Gauge after 1948, and has had some sort of service, including those using IC3 DMUs and then AFAIK even double decker push-pull sets (after the IC3s were withdrawn from service) in the recent past.

Edited by jis

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The old line was also curtailed at its Jersalem end and now ends on the outskirts of the city. I visited the original Turkish station in 1988 or thereabouts. At that time it was already out of use but in passable condition and there was talk of bringing back trains. I understand the abandonmnet has since become permanent and the station repurposed. There are plans to extend the new line right into the old city of Jerusalem, to a site not far from the Western Wall. This would be underground and very costly to build. And in view of the tendency to find something of huge archeological value every time somebody sticks a spade in the soil anywhere in Jeruslem, not without huge potential for many further delays. So is still many many years away. It is a pity they didn't keep the old line open to at least temporarily bridge that gap.

 

The problem was that for many years, passenger trains did not receive much support in Israel. The various bus companies ruled the passenger market and the railroads were developed mostly for freight. That is to say, mostly for connecting the Mediterranean ports to the mineral mines and quaries in the northern part of the Negev.In fact at the time the railroad was managed by the port authorities and thus seen merely as a means to bring minerals into the ports. Anything not directly required for that purpose was at best tolerated and not invested in. As far as I know there are no internal freight flows left not serving the ports. A skeletal passenger service was retained for political purposes, but not invested in. Well into the 1980s and early 1990s passenger trains used ancient equipment, much of it second hand from other countries, and were painstakingly slow. Hence the tendency to abandon bits of line in favor of real estate and urbanist projects without incurring much in the way of objsctions.

 

Starting in the mid 1990s, largely in response to increasing road congestion, a lot more investment started flowing into passenger trains and thoroughly modernizing the entire system. The transformation is phenomenal.

Edited by cirdan

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