Train travel between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is more a pleasant and scenic excursion than an efficient way to travel. The journey currently takes nearly an hour and a half, compared to an hour by bus. It's a comfortable ride, and many just do it for the attractive scenery. The train, which departs every one to two hours, runs nonstop between Jerusalem's Malcha Station and Tel Aviv's Savidor Station. There are connections to Haifa and other destinations to the north. Service ends midafternoon on Friday and resumes about two hours after dark on Saturday. The fare to or from Tel Aviv is NIS 20 one way and NIS 32 round-trip.
Other cities—including Ashkelon, Beersheva, Beit Shemesh, Haifa, Herzliya, Akko, and Nahariya—are easily reachable by train from Tel Aviv. There are no different classes of service. All carriages are clean, spacious, and comfortable with well-upholstered seats. They’re often crowded, however.
All train stations post up-to-date schedules in English. Complete schedules are also available on the website of the Israel Railway Authority. Tickets may be purchased at the ticket office in the station. Reserved seats are available Sunday to Thursday and may be bought up to a week in advance at the ticket office. Reserved seating is not available for the Jerusalem–Tel Aviv line and other short rides in metropolitan areas.
Jerusalem has a light-rail train, the country’s first. It’s a much more comfortable way to traverse the city than the bumpy roller-coaster rides on the city’s buses. There’s only one tram line, but it hits many points of interest. For information, see www.citypass.co.il/English.
Israel Railways. 08/683–1222; www.rail.co.il/EN.