This and That

Random bits of my life

First Day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv High Speed Train

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 26, 2018

Actually, the new electric train line connecting Jerusalem with the rest of the country is not high speed and does not, in fact, reach Tel Aviv! It is currently in its trial period and is free for the next 3 months if you order vouchers in advance. Because my husband is a transport fan and I will photograph almost anything, we reserved places on the 2nd train to leave Jerusalem, at 7:00 a.m. (We would have loved to be on the first train, but it wasn’t practical without a car and living in Maale Adumim.) The train does not run at its full speed (160 km/h) and does not reach Tel Aviv. It does, however, reach Ben Gurion airport, where you can switch to a regular diesel train for the rest of the journey. We were only interested in the electric train, however, so we had a cup of coffee at the airport and headed back to Jerusalem.

This man was the only other person in our section of the train. Since he would have had to be at the station early, he came prepared, with his etrog, lulav, and tallit (citron, palm branch, prayer shawl).

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

I’d never seen the Yitzhak Navon train station before, so I went a little nuts with the camera. We don’t have a lot of modern architecture in Jerusalem. The train platform is 80 meters underground, which makes it the 5th deepest underground station in the world. There are 6 fairly long escalators (elevators for those with luggage or prams), so you do need to allow about 10 minutes to reach the platform from the street level. The reason the station is so deep is because electric trains cannot climb steep slopes, and Jerusalem is considerably higher than Tel Aviv. So the first part of the journey is mainly through tunnels and a very high bridge around the town of Motza.Β The trains themselves are not new. They’re the 2-level trains used on regular routes, converted from diesel to electricity.

Most of these photos were taken at the Navon station. I’m embedding slightly smaller versions than normal. You can click the photo links to see larger versions. (Full album is here.)

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

This is the “protected area”, probably the deepest bomb shelter in the country.

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Right now, only 2 platforms are in operation. The station has 4 platforms.

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

The view from the Motza bridge is not nearly as scary as it looks from below, because you don’t really get a sense of the height. The windows weren’t very clear and I was using my cellphone, so this image is not very clear.

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

Literally, the end of the line. I assume that this area is normally inaccessible to the public, but the door was open, so I took a few shots. The tunnel on the right is an emergency exit. I think it emerges in the hillside overlooking the abandoned village of Liftah.

Opening day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv HS Train

4 Responses to “First Day of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv High Speed Train”

  1. Lena said

    We did the same thing , but we took the 9:30 train ( we live in Maale also and my husband is a fan of transportation as well πŸ™‚ Did you get the free chocolates πŸ™‚ ?

    • Avital Pinnick said

      No, we didn’t. I didn’t realise they were giving out chocolates until someone posted a photo on Facebook! There weren’t very many people using the train at that hour, so they probably figured it wasn’t worth distributing them at that hour. Oh, well, I got enough calories from the over-priced croissant and coffee at the airport. πŸ™‚

  2. laurie koretz said

    Thank you, Avital, for your description and photos . It’s so informative and interesting!

  3. Iris Ailin-Pyzik said

    Thanks for the photos – something else for us to see when we next visit!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: