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Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

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Washington DC...
posts: 91
reviews: 124
Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

I have heard about a scenic, slow train that travels from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and would like to ride it on my December trip to Israel. Can someone give me a link for information. I have looked at the train schedules, but don't know which - exact train this is.

Thanks.

7 replies to this topic
Jerusalem, Israel
posts: 166
reviews: 5
1. Re: Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

Israel Rail web site:

http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/Homepage.aspx

Plug in "Jerusalem - Malha" and one of the stations in Tel Aviv (preferably Center). Trip takes about 1.5 hours and leaves from the Jerusalem train station in the Malha area - in the middle of nowhere, far from the center of town, hotels and major tourist sites.

London, United...
posts: 1,188
reviews: 5
2. Re: Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

The number 18 bus, which goes through Jerusalem's town centre, terminates at the Malha train station.

Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 5,832
3. Re: Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

It can take forever to get from the Jerusalem city centre to the railway station in Malha, which as already said is in the back of beyond. Just miss a train and you could have two hours to wait for the next one. It's also a bit of a trot from the bus stop, since the station itself is quite large (white elephant!).

Where will you be in Jerusalem? There may be a better way to get to the station than the 18 bus, depending on where you are.

Also note that the first week of December is Hanukka. The trains run as normal, but because it will be school holidays and a ride on the train is a popular treat for families with young children, the trains will be very crowded and the experience considerably less than relaxing!

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,154
reviews: 17
4. Re: Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

The train station, while not in the center of town is NOT that isolated. It is very close to the Malha Mall--which while like malls all over the US, it is large and NOT what many imagine when they think of Israel! ( I know so many who can handle desert pictures but a mall..... they expect Israel to be full of camels on every street) Chanukah ends Dec. 5 and schools reopen. I have done the train ride and it IS something special. There is nothing like riding in the first ( or last ) car and be able to look out the window and take pictures of the other half of the train as it winds its' way through the mountains approaching Jerusalem.

Bottom line, if this is something you want to do--DO IT!!!

edited to add: and the bus ride to the center of town goes through many non-tourist areas. Also, nice to see! ( IMO)

Edited: 7:40 am, September 10, 2013
Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 4,469
reviews: 82
5. Re: Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

I agree with rdglady about stepping out of the tourist areas. Getting a peek at the neighbourhoods where people live and work is seeing the 'real' Israel. The train station is on the edge of town but Jerusalem is not that big a city area-wise and it is well worth the extra travel through the city to experience the train trip.

Edited: 7:56 am, September 10, 2013
Jerusalem
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 5,832
6. Re: Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

I didn't say not to do it... I'm just warning you that (a) you need to allow plenty of time to get to the railway station, and (b) the trains are very infrequent. Make sure you know the timetable before you set out!

When going from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv you should sit on the right-hand side of the train for the best views. It's only the first half of the ride that's particularly scenic. Once you get to the quarries and cement works, just before Beit Shemesh station, the spectacular part is over!

Washington DC...
posts: 91
reviews: 124
7. Re: Scenic Slow Train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

Thank you all. I am a frequent traveler to Jerusalem so very familiar with the train station/zoo/mall area - which is not a bother to get too. Thanks Ramot 418, I had thought that the slow train took even longer that 1.5 hours so didn't want to buy a ticket ahead w/out knowing I had purchased the correct train.

I am also aware that part of the trip (through the Judean) is scenic and part industrial. (if you have taken the train from Washington DC to NYC you get all that and more, which I think is very interesting.) I am planning this the week AFTER Chanukah so the info about which train to check at the Malha station is most important. Thanks Shuffaluff - I'll be sure to sit on the right hand side.

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