1. Very good. The train ride down to Tel Aviv is so dull.
Plus it's annoying to sit across some weird hipster with a hairstyle that was cool in the 90's.
I'd prefer that Kiryat Shmona line now as it's be easier to get to Akhziv that way. Darn!
Henry from New York ,
2. Learn to walk first
Israel railways should first be in a position to manage and run the the simple equipment they already have .At the moment its just another branch of their own workers union mafia.
3. how do you get the extra speed from a diesel train
Israel uses diesel powered trains rather than the European electrified ones so how do they get the extra speed out of it?
What I would welcome more than speed is a more comfortable ride.
I hate traveling by train because its overcrowded, your having to weave your way around all the bags and there are no refreshment facilities like you get on European trains.
If I am taking anything but a short trip I prefer to take the bus, at least then you get a seat to yourself and some degree of peace and quiet.
4. #3 - Indeed. A comfortable ride would be nicer.
You can't do much about it being crowded though unless you start having reserved tickets like we do on our Amtrak trains (mind you, you're guaranteed a seat, but not assigned one).
They should indeed electrify, but here's an idea. What about having both catinaries (the electric lines) and also solar panelling on the tops of cars? I'm sure the energy could be used for something.
Henry from New York ,
5. High speed trains
If they want more speed they need to go all electric. This should have been done from the beginning. The current equipment is high maintenance deisel that fills the air with pollution.
6. @ #3
And I prefer the train to the bus because I don't get carsick on the train, so I can work and not lose the travel time as dead time.
Get on a bus after it starts out and you'll find they're no less crowded than the trains--the 921 and 947 to Haifa that stop at Ra'anana Junction are usually full, in addition to being locals (me'asef), stopping at almost every bus stop. They also take 2 hours or more to get from Ra'anana Junction to Haifa, while the train from Herzlia takes takes just over one hour. The trip to the railroad station in Herzlia by car equals the trip to Ra'anana Junction by bus from my home (no free parking for private cars at the junction).
If being crowded bothers you, you can always pay extra for a makom shamur. Refreshment carts on the trains stopped when the two-level cars arrived--it wasn't possible to use them on such cars. However, the longest trip you can make (Beersheba to Naharia) is still less than 3 hours. What's the hardship? If you have medical reasons (hypoglycemia, etc) you should be prepared in advance anyway. If you have no medical problems, not eating for three hours is certainly no big deal.
Michael Davison ,
7. Faster Trains
Would that mean the New Rail Link to Eilat will be constructed to offer fast confortable train link from the north of the country the south?
sam sweiry ,
8. faster trains but no strikes
It will be nice to have faster trains, I would still prefer that they eliminate days of no service from strikes and 'construction'. Also it would be nice to increase the frequency, wi-fi, etc, but I'm probably only dreaming again
D Katz ,
9. Frequency & Times
Until recently I lived in Be'er Sheva. The last train from Tel Aviv would leave at 10:40 pm or so ... Night life in Tel Aviv hasn't even started then ... Hence, it is almost impossible to sustain social contact with friends on a regular basis. I f you want to get it up to european standards then provide trains until late and at least a few on shabat. The vast amount of people don't even keep shabat and their lives are controlled by those who do (where is democracy in that). everyone should be given the choice ... if you keep shabat don't use it but give others the possibility to life their lives the way they please. that would be democratic, wouldn't it and an acceptable standard. So what's it gonna be? A democracy where everyone is free to express themselves and life freely or a dictatorship controlled by religion. Don't get me wrong, I love israel and a full hearted supporter but somethings are not right ...
10. #8 - we only just got wi-fi on our Amtrak trains and it is
TERRIBLE. That's mostly because you have to rely on cellular towers. I doubt it would be any better in Israel.
Henry from New York ,
11. Reserved Seat
For all the silly people who complain about the train being crowded and having to walk a lot to find a seat, may I introduce you to the concept of the Reserved Seat for 5 shekel, which can be found on ALL express trains in Israel with the exception of Sunday & Friday. While there are certain times that even the reserved is packed, but usually it's great.
It only costs 5 shekel ($1.30 usd) extra at the ticket counter and you have your own seat. You can even buy one on the train if there's room from the conductor.
12. train speed and diesel trains
The diesel trains that Israel Railways uses now are limited to 140km/h. Later this year they will start receiving diesel trains capable of reaching 160km/h. That will allow cutting the travel time to Ber Sheva by 10 minutes.
Eventually most lines will be electrified (something the article fails to mention) and that will allow for the 200km/h trains that are mentioned in the article. Work on the electrification should start next year.
13. #12: No, some of the trains are capable and do travel at 160
However, with the Railway Workers Union holding the country to ransom it will be a miracle if there is a train service at all! Minister Katz makes threats but does carry them out. The courts have no self respect and threaten and then do nothing!
The Chinese took 4 years to build a complete rail system in Beijing for the Olympics and our capital city doesn't have a high speed rail link. The train to Karmiel, originally scheduled for 2007 is not slated for 2016. Doubling the line from Kiriyat Motzkin to Naharia, 20 km, has taken 8 years!
So, please don't hold your breaths!
14. to #13... yes and no...
yes, currently a small amount of the rolling stock is 160 capable (the kronoim). However, they only reach that speed on an exception basis only (to make up for delays). Later next year there will be enough 160 rolling stock where they can actually base the design of the timetable for certain lines on that speed. Right now the timetable is setup based on an assumption of 140kph being the max speed in all lines and the travel times are estimated accordingly.
15. I AGREE with #13....
These buffoons in Gov. talk a BIG talk, but couldn't manage a falafel stand!!
Every transportation minister for years has been promising major reforms and improvements with the infra-structure especially the rail-road system and what have we got, NADA!!
There is NO long term planning OR vision in Israel..PERIOD!! The Unions have a strangle hold, we THINK we know EVERYTHING, so no outside expertise is brought in and its just doesn't seem to be a priority, as these Gov. just scramble to stay in power and line their own pockets and those of their coalitions., so they will promise you the moon!!
They have been TALKING about a rail line from Carmiel to Acco for the last TWENTY years,,How has THAT worked out??!!
A country with NO Leadership, NO long term vision, NO priorities and we wonder why we are in this predicament!!??