We used the summer vacation to visit Railway Museum (official site) at Haifa. Why did I mention summer vacation? Because one of the problems for working people is the working hours, which are: Sun. – Thu. 8-16. Meaning that you have to take a vacation to visit this museum.
Map of the area:
At Railway Museum
The entrance to the Railway Museum is a Derekh Hativat Golani 1, Haifa. This is close to the port and to the beginning of highway #22. You can reach the museum either by car or by public transport (more details can be found here).
The museum is held in two buildings. In order to reach the first building, you have to go on the bridge above railways.
Trains Around Main Building
Children can climb many of the trains and my daughter never missed the opportunity.
You can also find this beast there:
It’s 25-ton steam-powered breakdown crane. It was built in 1918 by Cowans Sheldon at England. It was built for the British Army but served also the Israel Railways until the 1970s.
Though almost 100 years passed the label looks like new:
At the entrance to the main building you can find armored fighting truck:
It was built in 1936 in Lod and used by the British Army for an armored escort to Jerusalem. And since I mentioned Jerusalem the first train in Israel was constructed in 1892 and it was between Jaffa and Jerusalem. The initiative for the construction belongs to Yosef Navon. For his effort, Navon was awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French government, and the Medjidie by the Turkish government.
Today, both these first train stations were reconstructed and serve as shopping/entertainment areas.
Main Building at Railway Museum
The tickets are purchased at the entrance to the main building. The prices are 30 NIS per adult and 15nis per child.
Besides the standard booklet, we also got two A3 hard paper sheets. Following simple instructions, you can convert each paper sheet into a train. A nice bonus for kids.
Not sure if it’s related to summer vacation but there was a guide on site. She waited till about dozen people arrived and started the tour.
As you go through it you can see not only the saloon but also the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. All with high-end finishing.
Another train car we saw was this one:
You probably guessed it’s the oldest train car in the Railway Museum. It’s more than a century old and was used as a hospital.
Though our guide didn’t mention it, I noticed that the following locomotive had Arabic numbers on it. As later I found out (while writing this post), the museum has a locomotive from the famous Hedjaz Railway. Hedjaz Railway carried Muslim pilgrims on their way to make the Haj pilgrimage to the holy cities of Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Back when it was possible to travel by narrow gauge steam train from Haifa to Damascus in Syria and to Amman in Jordan. I guess it is it:
Secondary Building at Railway Museum
There are clear and big signs on site with arrows to the buildings so the chance to get lost low.
The secondary building is much smaller. There are no trains there but rather complementary items. Like old train tickets:
Several train models:
Old time table:
And there is a collection of train stamps:
Overall the railway museum is quite nice for kids and people who love trains. But there is a feeling they could do much more (and not a small museum that you can cover in 1-3 hours). Another problem as I mentioned in the beginning of this post is the working hours.
That’s all for today and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional attractions nearby see Haifa page.