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Israel's Fabled Jezreel Valley Train Revived After 65 Years of Silence

Jezreel Valley railway project (Photo: IAA/ASHERNET)

The Jezreel Valley train hasn’t run since 1951. In the days of operation, the train opened up transportation to new communities that otherwise wouldn’t have been accessible, which is why so many can’t wait for its revival.

The first test run of the resurrected Jezreel Valley train line took place on Monday, 65 years after the line was shut down.

Making the trip between the Kfar Baruch station and Beit She’an were Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, area mayors, and veteran residents of the Jezreel Valley who boarded the train at Afula. Part of the line’s modern version hews closely to the historic route, and in the future it’s slated to be extended to the border crossing at the Allenby Bridge, where it will link to the Jordanian rail system…

The historic valley line was a branch of the Turkish Hejaz Railway that ran from Haifa through Tzemah on the southern Lake Kinneret shore all the way to Damascus. It was built in 1905 and ran until 1951. There are people in the Jezreel Valley who still remember those days.

Rina Porat of Kfar Yehoshua was 20 years old when the old train stopped running. “At the time, the train was the center of our lives. Without the valley train, all the communities along the tracks would never have existed. It was a lifeline,” she said…

The line will open to the public in a limited fashion on October 16, just before the Sukkot holiday. Passengers boarding the train at any of the valley stations will be able to go anywhere in the country for free until November 4, when the line becomes fully functional.

Tags: Facts and Findings

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