| TASE: RAIL.B2|
1.5 billion ILS (2014)
₪940+ million (2015)
Cabinet of Israel
| Shahar Ayalon (CEO)
Benny Lavi (interim CEO)|
Rail transport, Cargo transport
Israel Railways corporation Ltd., dba Israel Railways (Hebrew: רַכֶּבֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Rakevet Yisra'el, Arabic: خطوط السكك الحديدية الإسرائيلية) is the state-owned principal railway company responsible for all inter-city, commuter, and freight rail transport in Israel. All its lines are standard gauge. The network is centered in Israel's densely populated coastal plain, from which lines radiate out in many directions.
Unlike road vehicles and city trams, Israeli railway trains run on the left hand tracks, matching neighboring Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, whose formerly connected rail networks were constructed by British engineers. The head office is located at the Tel Aviv Savidor Central Railway Station in Tel Aviv.
Until 1980, the head office was located at the Haifa Central Station. Tzvi Tzafriri, the general manager of Israel Railways, decided to move the head office to Tel Aviv Savidor. In May 2009 Yediot Aharonot said that Israel Railways was planning to move the head office to Lod. In response the company said this was necessary to centralize the various offices around Israel, to use a more central location in the country and to have more inexpensive land.
Israel Railways Wikipedia
There are more than sixty-four stations on the Israel railways network, with almost all of the stations equipped with accessibility help for disabled, audio system, vending machines and parking.
Bicycles are permitted on board the train in designated coaches from Sunday to Thursday between 09:00-15:00 and 19:00-06:00. On Fridays bicycles are permitted at all hours while on Saturdays bicycles are not permitted at any time.
Folding bicycles are allowed onto the train during all hours of operation, without a dedicated carrying case. The bicycle is required to be folded prior to entering the premises of the station. Tricycles are illegal at all times.
In Israel, smoking is prohibited in public enclosed places or commercial areas via several laws: particularly, since 1983, the "Israel Clean Air Act" (חוק אוויר נקי לישראל (in Hebrew)). The law was amended in 2007 so that owners are held accountable for smoking in premises under their responsibility. The second means by which smoking is regulated in Israel is via the environmental hazard law, and via criminal law smoking (or the introduction of second-hand smoke) may even be considered an assault. Although smoking in railway stations is allowed at designated zones of the station, the sale of tobacco from automated vending machines is prohibited.
Israel Railways' passenger routes are divided into ten operational lines and two lines under construction:
The flagship project of Israel Railways is the construction of an improved rail line from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The line will begin as an extension of the current railway to Ben Gurion Airport and Modi'in, and will terminate in a new underground station beside the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. An additional proposal would connect Modi'in to Jerusalem by connecting to the aforementioned line.
A 23.5 kilometres (14.6 mi) line from the city of Acre, on the Mediterranean coast, to Karmiel is under construction as of 2015; it is planned to be extended north to the north-eastern town of Qiryat Shemona, though there is no timetable for construction. This line will be fully electrified.
In 2011 the reconstruction and expansion of the 60 kilometres (37 mi) long, formerly abandoned Jezreel Valley railway line connecting Haifa and Beit Shean (near the Jordanian border) started. This was completed in 2016. There has been talk of further extending the line to Irbid, in Jordan (to allow a direct freight connection from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea), however no decision has yet been made on this matter. Another proposed extension under discussion would connect the reconstructed Jezreel Valley railway at Afula to Tiberias.On December 26, 1963 two passenger trains on the then single-track main line linking Tel Aviv and Haifa collided head-on at Bet Yehoshua just south of Netanya. The northbound train had passed a red signal and its locomotive rode over and crushed the locomotive of the southbound train. None of the coaches was derailed but a coupler broke in the northbound train detaching the rear three coaches. The continuous train brake should have then automatically stopped the detached coaches but it had not been connected properly so they started to roll back southwards. 55 people were injured but only three seriously enough to be detained in hospital. The two head-end crews survived but their locomotives, EMD G12s 105 and 118, were destroyed.
HaBonim disaster: On June 11, 1985 a train collided with a bus carrying school children, killing 19 children and 3 adults, near moshav HaBonim.
On June 21, 2005 an IC3 train crashed into a freight truck near kibbutz Revadim, killing 8 and injuring 198.
July 8, 2005, a train collided with a truck between Kiryat Gat and Ahuzam, resulting the death of the train driver and 38 injuries. On February 2012 a plea bargain had been set for the Revadim crash.
On June 12, 2006 a train crashed into a truck near Beit Yehoshua, killing 5 and injuring from 77 to over 80.
On December 27, 2009 a train crashed into a car near Kiryat Gat. The driver proceeded without regard to the train checkpoint on the road. The train struck his car and he was killed.
On August 5, 2010 a train crashed into a minibus near Kiryat Gat, killing 7 and injuring 6. The minibus was hit at 19:05 GMT+3 on Route 353, apparently as it tried to pass over a level crossing.
On December 28, 2010 a fire started in a train near kibbutz Yakum, probably because of a short circuit, injuring 116.
On April 7, 2011 two trains collided frontally near Netanya, injuring 59.
On October 4, 2013, two men walking along railroad tracks in the Emek Hefer valley industrial zone were killed by a train.
On December 18, 2013, a Beersheba-bound train collided with a group of camels walking along railroad tracks at the Segev Shalom Junction in the Negev, killing 14 camels. The incident caused massive delays in train traffic.
On December 29, 2013, an Israel Railways worker was run down and killed by a train near Lod.
On March 15, 2016, an Israel Railways locomotive crashed into freight wagons, injuring 6.