Some Israeli News

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Some Israeli News
Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:36 PM

1st  Transportation Minister , Katz has announced 30 March will see the opening of the "Fast" Jerusakem - Tel Aviv trains.   Called fast, not high speed, possibly because it is only 160Km/ht,  apporx. 100mph.  Second, there will be a downtown station and a station near the Kotel (Western Wall of the Temple Mount) on a subway, which I presume will be an extension of the above fast line, since the about to open Jerusalem station is mostly underground, tracks on the lowest level.  Third, I have seen evidence of new ligh rail construction,with the location corresponding to the Green Line section to the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus, not the Blue Line which was assumed to be next to be built.  Citipass lost the renewal of contract and the new outfit as seen on the construction signs is some that can be translated just "Municipal Transportation."  I'll have to report later whether this is a conglomorate firm or an in-house government agency.  All that has been doen so far is a lot of protective fencing and some digging up of dirt.  I just hope the new outfit does as good a job of operating the light rail system as Citipass has done.  Finally, a teleferique, or suspended cable operation for Jerusalem, base station downtown near City Hall and upper station near the Hebrew University Mt. Scopus, seems to be under serious consideration.

I hope to ride the "Fast Line" the day it opens or soon after, taing pix if permitted.  It wil be push-pull with electric locomotives, not mus.

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Posted by A McIntosh on Monday, January 15, 2018 7:43 AM

When I was in Israel on a church tour group in 2008, I noticed that the rail line to Ber Sheva was being double tracked as it looked to be freight only. Is this line being extended to Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba? Forgive any mis spellings. Also, how much freight tonnage do these lines see? 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 15, 2018 8:32 AM

There is practically hourly passenger service between Tel Aviv and Beir Sheva, and, requiring change-of-trains, with Beir Sheva having a stub-end terminal station, some passenger service south of Beir Sheva to Demona.  There is considerable freight traffic, poassibly abaout four or five trains each way each normal weekday, Sunday through Thursday, but this is a guestimate.  There is a freight-only cutoff line between Kiryat Gat, the first station north of North Beir Sheva - Ben Gurion University, east to the Mediteranian Port City of Ashkalon, and this carries ore mined west of Dimona at Oran, which has a freight only branch from Dimona.  The proposed line to Elat would run south from Dimona.  Very expensive consruction with tunnels and bridges required.  Lots of environmentalist objections and danger to certain animal species continuing.

A much saner course would be to build the ten-mile connection across the border of Jordan and third-rail standar-gauge the well-built and low-grade line to Aqaba with the short conneciton crossing the border to Elat in Israel.   For about 1/4th the cost of the controversial Elat extension, the whole Jordanian system could be converted to standard gauge and give Jordan access to Israel's Mediteranian ports.

The Beir Sheva - Tel Aviv trains, hourly with a gap in the middle of the day, generally run through to Haifa and often all the way north to Naharia, running express between T. A. and Haifa, some nonstop and more stopping only at the break between the T. A. and Haifa suburban zones at Benyamina.  Outside of the T. A. - Haifa service, trains usually stop at all stations on a particular route.  Between T. A. and Haifa, local trains generally run to Benyamina from both directions, those from Tel Aviv originating at Ashkalon, or Ashdot.  This is all from memory, and service patterns do change, and will probably change on 30 March.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 1:08 PM

             The high-speed train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem made its first test run on Tuesday, carrying Transportation Minister Israel Katz and a large number of excited press photographers and reporters.


The day’s event began at Moshav Mishmar Ayalon, from where everyone was taken by minibus shuttle to the railway track, adjacent to Route 1 near Latrun. Soon after Katz arrived, the star of the show made its appearance – a brand-new electric locomotive hauling standard double-decker coaches.

 

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Katz remarked that this was a historic run, and stressed the importance of linking Jerusalem to the rest of the country by high-speed train. The route is to be called the King David Line, in homage to the founder of the city of Jerusalem and to emphasize the connection of the Jewish people to Israel’s capital.

The minister promised that the line will open on the eve of Passover this year (March 30), even though the route is not yet complete. Initially trains will run from Jerusalem via Ben-Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv Hahagana. For the first three months travel on the line will be free with a Rav- Kav smartcard. Passengers boarding at the new Navon station in Jerusalem (between the central bus station and the Jerusalem International Convention Center) will enjoy free travel to anywhere in the country.

Transportation Minister Israel Katz inside the electric locomotive that hauled test train on January 15, 2018 (Transportation Ministry)Transportation Minister Israel Katz inside the electric locomotive that hauled test train on January 15, 2018 (Transportation Ministry)

It will take several months to complete the necessary infrastructure to allow the electric trains to continue to Herzliya. After the initial three months of free travel there will be a 50% discount on fares until everything is finished.

The test ride was not long enough to allow the train to reach its normal cruising speed of 160 km/h, since we went only about 5 kilometers, heading eastward. We entered the 11-km.-long tunnel, waited in the tunnel for a few minutes, and then went back to the start point. The ride was smooth and uneventful, apart from the obvious excitement at the novelty of riding on an electric train in Israel (with the exception of the Jerusalem Light Rail there are no electric trains operating in the country).


After eight years of planning and construction work, the King David Line is a welcome addition to the country’s transportation infrastructure, and it is hoped that with a journey time of around 28 minutes between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv more people will be encouraged to leave their cars at home, preferring the state-of-the-art, 21st-century railway.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:10 AM

Israel railways is doing massive realignment work on a portion of the Tel Aviv - Haifa main double-track line.  Much of the work is done at night.  Part of the reason may be to insure clearances for catenary, but there is a lot of straightening involved as well.

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Posted by A McIntosh on Friday, February 23, 2018 3:40 PM

Dave, thanks for your posts. One other sight on our tour was a place, I believe, named Kibbutz Gesher on the Golan. There was a rather impressive stone arch bridge over a ravine. It looked like it was part of the old Hejaz Railway. There were still about a dozen wood boxcars sitting on the bridge. In the display building, there was a saddle tank steam locomotive on display. It appeared that this rail line went into Syria, but it is obviously not used.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:04 PM

On Friday, too late for me to post, I learned from the Jerusalem Post latest news website that the safety people at Israel Railways have insisted on postponing the King David line opening by approximately six months.  They want the line to be fully comleted, electrical equipment, signals, and locomotives tested in simulated use, before passenger service begins.  I can speculate that events over the past few years in North America may have stiffened their backbone on insisting on this, and I do not blame them.

Jerusalem Light Rail underwent a similar testing period.  It has operated very reliably.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 9, 2018 7:05 AM

Several posts earlier I mentioned the massive realignment of a central portin of the main line along the coast between Tel Aviv and Haifa.   Steve Sattler forwarded thse arial photos, from Israel Railways of the result:

Ihe town noted in the second photo is Rishon Lizion West, and the third photo is between there and Zikhron Yaaov.  The project seems to have involved changing the railway line to accomodate highway improvements with some straightening of the railway as well.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 21, 2019 2:50 PM

The Train that came and went!   [The Jerusalem-El-Bira Adventure]
 
        At the end of October 1917 while Lord Arthur James Balfour was having his ‘Palestine Declaration’ typed up, in Whitehall….   And soon it would be presented to Baron Walter Rothschild, as the famous Balfour Declaration, another event was happening some 3633 Kilometers to the east of the center of the British Empire.
 
      In the late afternoon, the full regiments of the 4th and 12th Australian Light Horse cavalry, were charging into the setting sun. They had spent almost 3 days crossing the barren desert and hateful Negev sands to reach a 6-kilometer position well to the east of the 9 very important wells of Beersheba.  Their horses were very thirsty and suffering under the Middle Eastern sun. The charge lasted 17 minutes and thus the British   General   Allenby, the Commander    and the Australian, General Henry (call me Harry) Chauvel, the commander of the unruly Australians, changed the history of the Middle East.
 
      Turkish officers and their German advisors began the big retreat northward. Beersheba was lost. Gaza fell after 6 days and the commanders of the Ottoman Empire ---now shrinking on many fronts –set up a new defensive line just north of Hebron.
 
      A quick battle near Hebron and on the coast and the Turkish army was again in retreat. The Turks had three armies in Palestine -the 8th near the coast, the 7th in the hills and the 4th on the east of the Jordan.
 
     The next major battle was near and around the famous Nebi Samuel tomb.   This time Indian, Gurkha, Australian and English troops had to fight on foot; their horses and camels were unsuitable for military activity in the hill and rocky forested mountain country. Allenby (and Bulfin, Chetwode, Chauvel and Meldrum) and his staff  of now, well experienced officers was mechanically destroying the vaunted Turkish divisions, all 6 of them, of the 7th and 8th Armies. [The Turkish Yildriim {lightening} army was designed to be a first-class shock force to destroy and Allenby and his EEF.]  From the 18th November till 8th  December 1917,    Jerusalem, the district and the whole of the south was captured by the Christian [and Indian] British and Australian soldiers. And thus these “Crusaders” finished the job they had lost that July afternoon in the year 1187 at the Horns of Hittin, 730 years ago.
 
      The General, his staff and columns of proud Australian troops (and others) marched on foot through the Jaffa Gate and accepted the official and public surrender of Jerusalem-from the sick/pneumonia and elderly Moslem mayor, his excellency Hussein El Husseini.  New Zealand troops proudly protected the Jaffa gate.  It was the  11th December 1917, and it was Hanukkah.
 
   The mayor died 3 days later of pneumonia. Winter was abound in Jerusalem. His cousin, Musa el Husseini took over the Town-hall, with Allenby’s permission.
 
        It was the second day of the ancient Jewish holy-day of Hanukkah. 2060 years earlier, when patriotic Jewish irregular forces had forced the Greek forces out of Jerusalem and re-dedicated the Holy Temple to the Jewish G-D. Pure Jewish olive oil again burned in the cleansed Temple, and then the happy Hanukkah festival captured an eight-day slot in the Jewish calendar forever.
 
        Allenby now allowed his troops to rest, eat real and fresh food, and re-arm the various brigades. Many of the horses had to be re-shod. Camps were set up around, and near Jerusalem. An informal line of defense, with trenches, was set up more or less east –west from north Tel Aviv on the sea,  to the Michmas ridge in the west and up in the mountains.   Shechem (Nablus), just to the north was still an armed city of one full Ottoman division.  German general Otto Liman von Sanders, in Nablus was still planning a counter-strike to push the EEF far south. Jerusalem and the south had been captured but rest of Palestine was still under the brutal Ottoman military rule.
 
           Allenby’s air force was photographing the new Turkish positions, and it soon became obvious that the next battle would be near Megiddo. September 1918 was chosen as the date for the next big push-northwards. This September 1918 battle was actually in the hills of the Shomron—but for ‘religious’ reasons history books call it the Battle of Megiddo.
 
 Suddenly a major problem became obvious. Allenby had over 60,000 horses in his army [and thousands of mules, and camels and 6 tanks]. The Imperial staff had spread them out across the plains and foothill of the southern Sharon districts. The Turkish lines were constantly shrinking northwards and with a few minor skirmishes Allenby and his Australians were able to capture extra miles of open land from the tired and now hungry Turkish soldiers.
 
The First essential step was to build a short narrow gauge rail-line from Jaffa harbour to the old stone Jaffa RR station and yard. It was 600 mm wide, and two petrol driven locomotives carried supplies from the ship to the Jaffa RR station. They were then transported onwards on the 1892-built Jaffa – Jerusalem railroad, repaired by the British and converted to standard gauge.
 
The track was single line but at the harbour and at the Jaffa RR station it was doubled. The train could pull 4 or 5 small carriages. This efficient but small  train could replace some 100-120 camels and their leaders. (After the war, the train was turned over to the Jaffa municipality.) This was the first of the nick-named “Terezlna”[engineer, Draisine ] trains.
 
The bigger problem was how to supply the troops and their horses in the hills above Jerusalem, over the winter and spring. Roads, tracks and the topography were very difficult.
 
 A British engineer officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jordan Bell of the British Rail Builders Engineering Corps, unit 272,  found an inspired solution to the supply problem. The problem was that these horses needed food and water constantly. The best supplies and stores were in the Talpayot area of south Jerusalem. There were not enough dray horses and carts to bring these essential supplies to the armies and their horses, to the north and the west of Jerusalem. Most roads were muddy tracks, after the horrible winter rains.
 
     From 20th May 1918, Colonel Bell and his 3000 workers—and most of whom were Moslem femalescarrying baskets of dirt, soil and stones…on their heads—and getting paid---cleared out a 33 kilometer trench from Talpayot to El-Bira –near Ram-Allah in the North. Railway lines were installed. Two trains were found in Egypt and the bogies (the wheel complex) were changed to a 600 mm width….instead of 1200 or 1435.  [1435 was the classic British-Military gauge for the Sinai and ME regions]. Soon trains were carrying hay, water and supplies from Talpayot to El- Bira. The train tracks did not follow a straight line –rather they followed the easy contours of the landscape. The work was finished by 31st July 1918, and the trains ran on this new line till September 1918, and in parts, a little later.
 
              The large ex-Turkish Talpayot military supply base was a major source of supplies for Allenby’s EEF army, but at the same time, a constant flow of ‘better’ supplies was coming from Egypt [on the 1435 Sinai line], and the Jaffa port [on the 600mm line, and original approximately 1.1-meter lines, now converted, in part to  1435]. The north Sinai military railway and the re-built old J&J line from Jaffa were now essential logistic arteries for the many horse squadrons, and companies of troops of the EEF army.  At the stone Jerusalem station, the goods and supplies were off-loaded from one raised platform to another. A large crane was also available.
 
                 Jordan Bell, as a staff engineer knew that some railway material and moving stock was available near the Suez Canal. When General Maxwell’s international army took up offensive positions on the EAST bank of the Canal (1915, 1916), they built several short temporary railways-on 600 mm tracks, with local rolling stock, into the desert to supply their forward EEF positions.
 
    These tracks were -by mid-1917- unnecessary and useless. The trains of the Northern Sinai EEF 1435 mm mainline brought up this material to Jerusalem. These same trains carried troops, and ‘medical cases’ back to Cairo hospitals.
 
           The tracks, began near the old [stone] Jerusalem station and in Talpiyot, ran down Palmach Street, then Rav Berlin Street, skirted the San Simon hill and monastery, just south of the German Colony, went north past the Greek Orthodox monastery in the Valley of the Cross, near the Knesset (Today), into Kiryat Moshe (then called Kiryat Montefiore), drew near the edge of the Lifta valley, into Romema, up to Tel Arza…(the Bar Ilan intersection today), across the top of the Sanhedrin caves, in Sanhedria , up Paran Street in Ramat Eshkol , took the contour of Givat HaMivtar, across Shuafat, touched the base of Tel-El-Ful (the original palace of King Saul) and then past Kfar Aqab and up to El-Bira. Later-on the tracks were extended to near the village of Surdan -in the North and also to another village called Sinjil—an extra 14 kilometers.  The EEF front was not static-but over the winter of 17/18, General Chetwode’s XX divisions made several advances, further north. The Ottoman 7th Army in the hills was hungry, unhappy and very diluted by death and illness.
 
 
              On 19th September 1918 ---the big Battle of Megiddo started and finished 6 days later. General Edmund Allenby ---now re-enforced with extra troops, and well rested horses, attacked and almost immediately General Otto Liman von Sanders  recommended to his official but incompetent boss—General Mustafa Kemal—to retreat. The rest was an anti-climax. A small attempt to stop the next British attack near The Kinneret sea-at Tzemach- was a failure and the 450 year old Ottoman Empire became the very very sick man of Europe.  Palestine was now free of Ottoman and German troops.
       
       The Sykes-Picot understanding soon took over the new Middle East, General Allenby became a Field Marshall…. And the Australians got to go home to their farms.   WW1 ended 40 days after the Australians took Damascus-in the early morning of the first of October 1918.  Colonel Lawrence and his Arab irregulars -led by the Emir Faisal  got there in the late afternoon.
       
        In November 1918—The First World War ended on the 11th ----Most of the rails and sleepers were dismantled and shipped back to Egypt. Some rails were stored in Jerusalem and later on, the British Civil Administration used them to seal the windows in their prison in the Russian Compound. The Baldwin Trains disappeared, and the route became a major track---but unsealed, for carts and horses and later on, cars.  Future roads were built on this [hand] dug-out track especially Sderoth Ben Tzvi near the Knesset today.
      
          In August 2011 the first trains [trams, or light rail] of the New Jerusalem Light-rail system began to criss-cross the city. This was a major Miracle for Jerusalem—after 10 years of work.    Today, every 5-15 minutes, a silver Jerusalem TRAM, slides into a station and picks up thousands of passengers and efficiently transports them to their destinations.
 
     Everybody----and I mean almost everybody— thinks that this is the First train/tram in Jerusalem…….
WRONG……Holy Jerusalem had a working train line---only .60 meters wide—thus not a real train---but a light-rail--------99 years ago—that existed for 4 months—and “saved’ the hungry horses of the Australian Light Horse Regiments.
 
    And now here is the riddle.  The Official British rail maps of  June 1921 show these 600 mm tracks in and around the Navon railway station-{very close to the Begin Center today!} (today: The FIRST STATION restaurants and shops), as real  on-the-ground tracks. We know from several sources that most of these tracks were torn up, and the rolling stock returned to Egypt---except for the two engines-that disappeared!
 
      We also know that the main depot for food, water and supplies was the old Turkish (main) supply depot -in Talpayot  some 2 kilometers down the road-to the south.
Why do the tracks show no connection to the Talpiyot depot, and why do they still appear after 2.5 years of non-use and de-commission?ilway Museum -in Haifa -has tons of old documentation about railways from the Turkish, and British administrations. One day—some eager-beaver will find the answer—there.
 
    PS.   Over the early years of the British mandate in Palestine, Arab women in the hand-full of villages just north of Ram-Allah, would dance, at weddings   “The Naja’s Dance”-with an oil jug as a drum and the women in a line. The words of the dance would -among other things-sing about ‘the whistle of the ‘Al-Birah train’ that could be heard in the valley’. This military train-that only lived for a few months-had/has become part of the culture of the district.
Steve Sattler, Jerusalem
   
 
 
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 21, 2019 3:02 PM

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, December 13, 2019 1:17 AM

More than a decade overdue, the electrification connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is expected to welcome its first through passengers next Saturday evening, December 21.

While no official announcement has yet been made by Israel Railways, online schedules show the first direct electric train departing Tel Aviv’s Hahagana Station at 9:56 p.m., arriving at Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon Station 34 minutes later. The first direct train from Jerusalem will also leave at 9:56 p.m., arriving in Tel Aviv at 10:28 p.m.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:47 AM

Some photos of a test train on this route

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 11:49 AM

The TRAINS & TRAM SOCIETY of ISRAEL.

Dear all, 
FYI
On this Sat. night at 9.56 pm- the first [real] passenger train [electric] will leave the NAVON station in Jerusalem for Tel Aviv - a direct line  with only one stop at the airport. The trip is 33 minutes, and this new line will carry thousands of passengers every day.
At the same time a similar train will leave the HaHagana station in South TLV for the Navon station.
  I was on this train today from Jm,  and then later on -up to Jerusalem.  {I had a quick chat with our FM - Yisrael Katz} 
    {An all day ticket for the old folk [like me] is 18.5 shkl and this includes the bus rides to and from the stations.     Today- I caught my 68 bus in Ramat Eshkol, crossed the road at the CBS , descended in the [Navon] elevator to the platforms - took the Train [with all the officials on it], read the free Morning paper, and some notes; [and charged my phone] , changed trains at the airport [ a 10 min wait-on the same platform ] -got off at the Kirya station [HaShalom], -spent 1 hour in my office [signing papers & eat hot Borakas and coffee],  took the train back to the airport, then hopped onto the Navon train, then the elevator up to the street [89 meters] , then bus 68- and I was home by 2 pm.   all for 18.5 shkls on my green card.}
Steve
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Posted by A McIntosh on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 12:48 PM

I noticed in the pictures that the tracks seem to be dual gauge. Is this the case on the entire line to Tel Aviv? When I was on a tour group as we rode north from Beersheeba in 2008, it looked like they were double tracking the line to that city and building a new one to Elat. Are these in full operation?

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 19, 2019 12:04 PM

My explanaition of what looks like dual-gauge is that they recently replaced the rail and have not picked up the old rail yet.  

The  extension to Elat is open as far south from Beir Sheva as Doron.  I have not learned of construction south of that point.   There is construction going on north of Kvar Saba. mostly on previously abandoned RoW.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 22, 2019 1:35 AM

The TRAINS & TRAM SOCIETY of ISRAEL.

Dear all, 
      Last night - Saturday night - [ 21st December 2019  =  Kaf Bet Kislev Tashap:  ]
at 21.56 the first real and public electric passenger train left the new Jerusalem Navon Station and at 160 Km/hr flew down to Tel Aviv.
The trip took 32 mins- including  a 2 min stop at the BGA airport.
At this time the last stop for this train is the south Tel Aviv = HaHagana Station, but soon this  train will do all the Tel Aviv stations.
      This first train took 350 passengers, and in our 'fairly empty' carriage -near the back- we had 27 passengers.
      Sir  Moses Montefiore considered this project in 1838, but it took Jerusalem resident and citizen of the Ottoman Empire,  Yosef Navon to actually get this idea off the ground. He spent 5 years in Constantinople trying to get the FIRMAN {a permit} from the Sultan, -that he finally got in 1888 - 28th October. -  for 71 years. 
      He sold this permit to a Frenchman for 1 mill Francs, and on 29th December 1889 a new company was formed to build & run this unique railway. The French SdCdFCdJaJeP company - Navon was on the board of directors..
     Jerusalem - the HOLY city and a focus for wealthy Christian pilgrims , Russian pilgrims and religious Jews- would soon have a dedicated railway from the Jaffa port up into the hills of Jerusalem - 730 meters up the hills.
     So, on the 26th September 1892 the first operative passenger train ran from the new stone Jaffa Station to the new stone & impressive Jerusalem station-.  In both cases the two new stations [and the 5 station in-between] were not allowed to be built inside the city-but rather just outside the city.
     Today, this electric train starts from NAVON - 89 meters underground, travels 51.8 Kms -down and NW to Tel Aviv's HaHagana station. The downward angle is 2.8 degrees.
     This first train was the #7776, and the returning train at 10.56 was  the #7721.
     It was great & historic trip.
bivracha
Steve
 
I would note that Joseph Navon's father, Eliyahu Navon, Chief Sephardic Rabbi of the Holy Land, was the representative of the Jewish community in the Turkish Parliement.   Dave
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 22, 2019 12:36 PM

Jack May comments:

Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid. – Bernard Meltzer, Jewish radio personality

Taking that message from you to heart here are my comments (and photos). Of course I rode it with a 12-minute change at BGA.  The only time advantage of the new service is the single seat ride, where a two-minute stop replace a 12-minute change of train.  To the public using HaHaganah, this is a huge improvement, i.e. cutting their total trip time from 46 to 32 minutes (47 to 34 minutes westbound), a saving of 14 or 13 minutes, some 27 to 30 percent--all from eliminating the need to change from one train to another. 

So from a technological viewpoint the only gain seems comes from further electrification.  And for now at least, passengers from the other Tel Aviv stations will continue to have a two-seat ride.  However, I am glad that there is now a 15-minute headway between HaHaganah and Ben Gurion, since the previous Jerusalem-Ben Gurion trains were extended to HaHaganah while the previous service from Tel Aviv to Ben Gurion (and on to Modlin) remains the same.  Which I think was an excellent approach.

But all in all, I consider the improvement marginal.  
I think we can agree that the new service is not high speed, but more equivalent to the previous speeds on the line, which I encountered last month, and to put it into a North American context, to Northeast Corridor speeds--and not as high as on certain segments of the line.  In other words not running anywhere near 200 mph or greater, as is done in Japan, France, Spain, China, etc.

But I don't see why patronage between the two cities should not grow substantially, which perhaps could result in sufficient demand for an improvement in Jerusalem frequencies to four trains per hour.  As far as airport travel is concerned, currently the only improvement seems to be a frequency increase for HaHaganah passengers from two trains per hour to four.
  But taking everything into account, I am very hopeful that a great deal of traffic between Israel's two principal cities will be shifted from autos and buses to trains. 

It might be interesting to know what improvements are planned for the future, to both service and rolling stock. 


So congratulations are well deserved.  Sometimes great steps forward have to be implemented incrementally.

Here are a couple of my scanned slides from last month (DLK to be posted shortly)

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 22, 2019 2:59 PM

Jack's photos. diesel at T. A. Haganah and electric at the airport.

And from the Jerusalem Post, the first eastbound train:

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 2, 2020 3:50 AM

Some photos during catenary installation from Israel Railways, probably all just north of the Tel Aviv Haganah station on the Ayalon corridor, looking north to the Tel Aviv Shalom Station:

And some older Israel Railways photos; first arial view of North Tel Aviv Station, looking southL

Above on a platform at Tel Aviv Central. Below a viaduct west of Ben Gureon Airport, before electrification.

 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Friday, January 3, 2020 9:06 PM

Dave, what manufacturer built the passenger cars in the photus?

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, January 4, 2020 10:57 AM

Most of the red cars, Bombardier, but this is a standard European design common to several car-builders, including Siemens.  Blue, Siemens.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 8:43 AM

A friend asked a question, but did not post it.  I thought I'd best answer it generally, here.  The question concerned languages officially used.  Hebrew, Arabic, and English are the three languages used officially, and all government documents are published in all three languages.  Ditto railroad station signs, although announcements on trains and buses is still spotty, but getting there. (Arab-sector buses, or at least the lines I use fairly often,  don't have on-board announcements at all, also still true of some Egged buses.)  Jerusalem Light Rail has it 100%, station signs, announcement in the cars and stations, moving signs in cars, fare machines, the works.

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 8:47 AM

While I know it's not "official", how much Russian is spoken on the street?  I remember reading that, since the fall of the USSR, there has been a huge influx of Russian Jews to Israel.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 10:27 PM

I'd say about 10% of the conversstions I overhear on light rail and Egged busses are in Russian, and it used to be more.  But now also, very recent, about 10% in French!  There are stores in Jerusalem that have signs in Russian as well as Hebrew and/or Engnlish and/or Arabic.  I hear French as well, also Etheopian, Chinese.  Arabic compared to Hebrew and English is very rout dependent, of course.

Bigest impact of Russian immigration is in music.  About 35% of the classical musicians I hear were born in Russia.  Including members of the Philharmonic.

  • Member since
    December 2012
  • 273 posts
Posted by A McIntosh on Thursday, January 9, 2020 3:14 PM

Given the recent tensions over the Solimani killing in Iraq, is there greater security concerns on these trains, as well as other transit modes?

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 15,866 posts
Posted by daveklepper on Friday, January 10, 2020 1:10 AM

We always have what in the USA or Canada would be considered a high-securiy alert.  The high-profile killing of a truly very evil person has not changed anything as far as day-to-day security.  However, a few rerservist at the Yeshiva have been called to active duty  -- but with time off for the Sabbath, which they are here today to enjoy Sabbath with their families and at the Yeshiva.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • 3,168 posts
Posted by NorthWest on Sunday, January 19, 2020 11:54 AM

Lovely NYT editorial on the subject:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/opinion/israel-railroad-tracks.html

I am not a subscriber but could access it without a paywall.

  • Member since
    December 2012
  • 273 posts
Posted by A McIntosh on Sunday, January 19, 2020 2:32 PM

NorthWest

Lovely NYT editorial on the subject:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/opinion/israel-railroad-tracks.html

I am not a subscriber but could access it without a paywall.

 

Thanks for the article. The tour group I was on stopped at Gesher and I saw that bridge and the rolling stock still there. there is a saddle tank steam engine on display in the exhibition hall.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
  • 9,653 posts
Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, January 19, 2020 4:59 PM

NorthWest

Lovely NYT editorial on the subject:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/opinion/israel-railroad-tracks.html

I am not a subscriber but could access it without a paywall.

 

 
FWIW a link inside the NYT article set off my dangerous virus alert and to leave page which I did.
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,505 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, January 19, 2020 6:11 PM

blue streak 1
FWIW a link inside the NYT article set off my dangerous virus alert and to leave page which I did.

You mean the inline link to Levanony's stories, including the one about the Germans with their homebuilt Schienenzep?

My browser did not flag a security alert, but didn't render the page either.  And it bollixed the internet connection for a couple of minutes; it appears the loaded page seizes the browser's attention somehow, and I had to close the page to get the Trains site to work again.  Perhaps Mr. Klepper or someone else 'connected enough' can find the actual original URL and post it as a link.  

What I resolved was https://news.walla.co.il/item/2946750, but I did not know how to render the page in English instead of Hebrew.

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