Hebrew Language Blog

Getting Around Israel: Riding the Rails Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Learning Hebrew


When driving in Israel – either in the city or between cities, you may come upon heavy traffic quite often. Or you just don’t feel like driving or taking a bus between cities. Because of this, travel by train is a great way to get around Israel.

Israel Railways (רַכֶּבֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Rakevet Yisra’el) is the state-owned principal railway company responsible for all inter-city, commuter, and freight rail transport in Israel. The network is centered in Israel’s densely populated coastal plain with the head office located at the Tel Aviv Savidor Central Railway Station in Tel Aviv. Trains run from Nahariya in the north to Beer Sheva in the south and to Jerusalem in the West. You will find that Israeli trains run on the left hand tracks since the rail networks were constructed by British engineers.

If you decide to ride a train in Israel, be sure to purchase a return ticket – you’ll get a 10% discount if you do. As of this writing (April 2014) the trains are not wheelchair friendly. There have been complaints about the situation, but the trains are still unable to accommodate wheelchairs.

Where is the train station? – איפה תחנת הרכות?
What station is this? – איזו תחנה זאת?

Buying a ticket

One Way Ticket

כרטיס בכיוון אחד

Where can I buy a ticket? – איפה אפשר לקנות כרטיסים?
I’d like to go to… – אני רוצה לנסוע ל…
I’d like a … – אני רוצה …
one-way ticket – כרטיס בכיוון אחד.
return ticket – כרטיס הלוך ושוב.
two tickets – שני כרטיסים.
child’s fare – תעריף לילד
pensioner’s fare – תעריף קשיש
student’s fare – תעריף סטודנט

1st class – מחלקה ראשונה
2nd class – מחלקה שנייה

Information about the train

What time does the train…? – מתי … הרכבת?
leave – יוצאת
arrive – מגיעה
How long does the trip take? – מה משך הנסיעה?
Is it a direct route? – האם זו דרך ישירה?

What is the next station? – מהי התחנת הבאה?
Does this train stop at Netanya? – הרכבת עוצרת בנתניה?

The train has been what??

The train has been… – הרכבת …
delayed – מאחרת
cancelled – בותלה
How long will it be delayed? – בכמה זמן תאחר הרכבת?

Here below is a map of the rail system through Israel. Click on it and it will open in a new window so you can take a better look at it, or print it out. While you’re looking at it, can you figure out the following routes?

1. You’re at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. You want to go to Haifa and surprize your friend with a visit. How would you get there? What stations are on the way?

2. You’re at the be-er Sheva Center station and you need to go to Herzliyya. What route would you need to take? Where would you transfer to the train to Herzliyya?

Rail Lines

Images of the one way ticket and railway map are copyright by Israel Railways. Used by Permission.

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About the Author: Sean Young

Learning languages since 1978 and studying over 50 (achieving fluency in 10). Sean L. Young loves giving tips, advice and the secrets you need to learn a language successfully no matter what language you're learning. Currently studying Hindi and blogging his progress right here at Transparent Language - https://blogs.transparent.com/language-news.


  1. Genevie Fenn:

    Thanks, I’m pondering the contents of this article!