Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jerusalem's Old Train Station

For many years, beginning in 1892, there was a train line going from Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv all the way to the heart of Jerusalem, an 86 kilometer ride. The last stop on this line was located on what is now Jerusalem's "cultural mile", just behind trendy Emek Refaim, also called the German Colony. The train service was carried out pretty much daily until 1948 when the Arab-Israeli war caused a break in the train's service due to the train passing through newly acquired Arab territory. Though service eventually picked up the following year, the amount of travelers on the line decreased. And eventually, the line had its final voyage back in 1998, closing up shop afterward. 

     

In Tel Aviv, the train station has already been preserved and remodeled into a popular entertainment area, however, Jerusalem's renovations are still currently under way. Nonetheless, the stretch of covered train tracks that sit perched behind Emek Refaim have become a popular walkway, a stroller's haven and a dog's best friend.



    

Along the way, between Bethlehem Road and Hebron Road, you will find small parks situated to the sides of the track. 


It's always great to find places to walk in Jerusalem, where you won't have to bump into the mass of locals and tourists, and where you won't have to elbow your way through the crowds. The Old Train Station tracks in Jerusalem are a great addition to the German Colony neighborhood and it makes you feel like you've got to go out and get a dog now that you have someone to walk him/her:



There are also some beautiful homes located right along the tracks. The German Colony is known for its Western style homes and modern amenities.




Though there's still more to be done in the remodeling process, the revisions already under way have left behind a beautiful mile long walkway for locals to enjoy. You would never know you were in Israel, or in Jerusalem, if you saw images of this neighborhood below.


   

Meet up with a friend, go for a quick stroll and then veer through a side street over to Emek Refaim for a coffee break.


   

You can approach the railway tracks entrance either from one end across from Liberty Bell Park (a popular stop on many bus lines) or from the other end at the juncture between Emek Refaim and Baka (directly off of Pierre Konig Street). Basically, if you're anywhere in the German Colony, you can find it easily by walking a block through the side streets to the outdoor walkway. 



I'd been living in Israel for over a year before I discovered these tracks and I wish I'd discovered it sooner. Take a stroll there this week in the fresh, outdoor air if you haven't done so already!

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