• Janis Raisen

Jerusalem High-Speed Train

The train between Jerusalem and the airport, and between Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv area is a dream for both commuters and tourists. It also offers a scenic surprise.


Sit back and relax for a scenic clip from the Jerusalem High-Speed Train

More than just a convenient mode of transportation, the Jerusalem high-speed train should be included as a tourist attraction.


When boarding the train from Tel Aviv to the country's capital for the first time, you expect a routine ride, but the breathtaking scenery that appears as the train approaches Jerusalem, turns the uneventful trip into a memorable journey.


The scenic landscape turns heads, as the train zips in and out of the tunnels. "Wow," can be heard from anyone riding the train for the first time and witnessing the breathtaking views that are seen near Jerusalem.


With the country now open to individual vaccinated tourists as of November 1, 2021 (the first time since March of 2020), there will many more people enjoying the journey.




The highly anticipated train was built to offer train service between Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem, and to serve as a faster alternative between Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv area.


In Sep 2018, the first section of the train opened, operating only between Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem. By 2020, additional sections were completed with stops extending to all Tel Aviv train stations, as well as Herzliya. It is also referred to as the Jerusalem-Herzliya line.


The train departs every 30 minutes during the weekdays and every hour on weekends. The ride is about 40 minutes from Tel Aviv, and approximately 20 minutes from Ben Gurion Airport. As of writing this article, the train, which has stopped running on Fridays for the last few months due to repairs, has still not resumed train service on Fridays.



Jerusalem - Yitzhak Navon Station


The train station is named after Israel's Fifth President, and Minister of Education and Culture, Yitzhak Navon.


A native of Jerusalem with Sephardic roots, his mother's family came from Morocco in the late1800s and his father's family, originally from Spain, arrived in the late 1600s. Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, his father's family fled to Turkey and later settled in Jerusalem.


With a long political career in various roles, the former president and minister impacted many areas of the country. Known for his love of the arts and culture, and his desire to bridge religious and socio-economic gaps, he was a respected diplomat, working to create a cohesive society.



Plaque at the entrance to the station (Photo: Janis Raisen)


Station Size and Architecture


The train station runs about 80 meters deep, and according to the architects that designed the station, it spans 70,000 Sq.m.The difference between this station and all the other train stations across the country can be felt the moment you first navigate your way through the vast hallways


Once you enter the enormous, futuristic looking walkways as you make your way up from the platform level, you will feel as though you have been propelled into the future with the sleek architectural design. For tourists visiting Jerusalem for the ancient history, it's quite the contrast.


Walkway along the lower level that leads to and from the platforms (one floor below), and to the passenger hall (one level above) (Photo: Janis Raisen)


Steep escalators to the passenger hall, but there are also elevators on the other side of these escalators (Photo: Janis Raisen)

In order to reach the passenger hall from the lower level, you have the choice of taking the steep escalator, or using the elevator. There are three massive elevators throughout the station, so you can always use the elevator and easily access all the levels.



A closeup of the steep escalators to the passenger hall (Photo: Janis Raisen)


View of the passenger hall. The exit to the street is still two levels above.

(Photo: Janis Raisen)

The King David Railways Synagogue


A nice feature of the station is the beautiful synagogue, which was built to offer travelers a place to stop and pray while leaving or entering Jerusalem.

Entrance to the King David Railways Synagogue (Photo: Janis Raisen)


Inside King David Railways Synagogue (Photo: Janis Raisen)



Location


The Yitzhak Navon Train station is conveniently located directly across from the Jerusalen Central Bus Station. It is also situated on the same side of the street as the light rail stop heading eastbound, which will take you to the Machane Yehuda Market, Jaffa Center at Ben Yehuda Street, and the Old City.


View of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and light rail from the train station

(Photo: Janis Raisen)

A View from the Outside

Street level signage (Photo: Janis Raisen)


Entrance, one level below street level (Photo: Janis Raisen)



The sidewalk outside the station (Photo: Janis Raisen)


The procedures for booking the train remain the same as they were during pre-pandemic times. You can find the schedules here, or via the App.