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PHOTO: Israel Raiways IC3 "Flexliner" DMU

Posted by WMATAGMOAGH on Fri May 18 11:28:09 2012

Taken this afternoon at Jerusalem-Malha station. I rode the train with a friend from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv this afternoon. The scenery between Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh was exceptional as always. I think we were running a bit early, the train got held at both Beit Shemesh and Lod stations (and two trains got sent ahead of ours at Lod) but arrived in Tel Aviv on time. The train was fairly empty, as is usually the case on this line outside of rush hours (and especially so on Fridays) since it takes over 90 minutes to go by train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv while it takes an hour or less by bus unless there are significant traffic jams. This is largely because the train takes a roundabout route constructed by the Ottomans. A new high speed line that will travel from central to Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is under construction and currently scheduled to open in 2017. The line will bridge valleys and tunnel through hills, and will take 28 minutes to go from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport and 35 minutes from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

The IC3 is a Swedish trainset, Israel probably has the most IC3 trainsets operating outside of Denmark (where they are manufactured) and Sweden. One set from Israel was tested in the United States by Amtrak in 1997. It is the only type of train to operate on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line; a single Alstom JT42BW diesel locomotives that provide the power to Israel Railways' push-pull trainsets could not make it up the steep grades between Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem (Tel Aviv is at sea level, Beit Shemesh is 219 meters above sea level, while Jerusalem is about 800 meters above sea level (the train station in Jerusalem is probably at a slightly lower elevation, it is at one of the lowest points in the city).

Enough blabbing, here is the photo you've all been waiting for.


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