We used the summer vacation to visit the Railway Museum at Haifa. Let’s begin our visit!
Why did I mention summer vacation? Because this museum is open only during the standard working hours. Which are:
Sunday – Thursday: 8:00 – 15:30
Friday: 8:00 – 13:00
Meaning that most people have to take a vacation to visit this museum.
Adults – 30 NIS and children (above five years old) – 15 NIS.
Note: opening hours and ticket prices were updated in February 2019. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.
The entrance to the Railway Museum is a Derekh Hativat Golani 1, Haifa. It is close to the port and the beginning of highway #22. You can easily reach the museum either by car or by public transport.
Map of the area:
At Railway Museum
The entrance to the Railway Museum:
The museum is held in two buildings. To reach the first building, you have to go on the bridge above railways.
The bridge and the cranes of the port.
View from the bridge.
And on the other side, you can see the Sail Tower.
A look back towards Haifa.
Trains Around Main Building
Around the museum’s main building, there are old trains:
We decided to visit them first since it was still quite early and not too hot.
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.
The tickets are purchased at the entrance to the main building. See the prices at the beginning of this post.
Besides the standard booklet, we also got two A3 thick paper sheets. Following simple instructions, you can convert each paper sheet into a train — a nice bonus for kids.
At the main building’s entrance:
Not sure if it is related to summer vacation, but there was a guide on site. She waited till about dozen people arrived and started the tour.
Our first stop was this luxury train car:
It was made in England and used by VIP. In Israel, a similar luxury train car was used by David Ben-Gurion.
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 did not 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:
Next, our guide took us into a coach train car to see a short movie. The movie showed the last route of the last Locomotive (back in the 70s).
At that stage, the tour ended and after a short stroll, we left the main building.
Passing the bridge on our way to the secondary building:
Entrance to the secondary museum’s building:
There are clear and prominent 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 at the beginning of this post is the limited opening hours.
Have you ever been to the Railway Museum at Haifa? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional attractions nearby see Haifa page.