Haifa Center HaShmona Railway Station

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Haifa Ha'shmona.jpg

Haifa Center HaShmona Railway Station (Hebrew: תחנת הרכבת חיפה מרכז השמונה‎, Taḥanat HaRakevet Ḥeifa Merkaz HaShmona, Arabic: محطة حيفا مركز - هشمونه‎) is an Israel Railways passenger station situated on the coastal railway main line and serves the City of Haifa. Although it is called Haifa's Central Station the title is largely historical. Nowadays it is far from being central both by passenger numbers and location-wise.

Location[edit]

The station is situated on the North-South coastal line and is located on Plumer Square (Hebrew: כיכר פלומר‎, Kikar Plumer) along Independence Road (Hebrew: דרך העצמאות‎, Derekh HaAtzma'ut) in Haifa's downtown (or Lower-Town). The station is one of three railway stations serving the city of Haifa directly and also one of six railway stations within Haifa's municipal borders.

History[edit]

Haifa Center Railway Station was built by the British during their Mandate for Palestine and was opened in 1937. The station was built on territory reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea during the constriction of Haifa Port in the 1930s. The station building was built in the Bauhaus style and was aligned with the buildings that stood on HaAtzmaut Road (then - Kingsway), thus it is not parallel to the rail tracks and platforms at the station.

At first the station was constructed with two side platforms, but over time a third rail track was added along the far-side platform, thus making it an island platform.

Several years later a second story was added to the station building to increase its office capacity (this was possible because the building was designed to have up to four stories).

During the 1950s and 1960s Plumer Square housed one of Haifa's Central Bus Stations, until it was relocated to Haifa Bat Galim Central Bus Station in the 1970s.

Until 1980 the head office of Israel Railways was located at Haifa Central Station. Tzvi Tzafriry, the general manager of Israel Railways, decided to move the head office to Tel Aviv Savidor Station.[1]

In the years 2003-2004 the station underwent extensive upgrading and renovation. The station has been made accessible for the disabled. The low bridge connecting the two platforms was replaced by a tunnel with elevators (the bridge was too low for the planned overhead electrical lines). During the upgrade both the interior and exterior of the station were renovated and updated to the present passenger station standard of Israel Railways.

During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict train service to the station was suspended after a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket hit a nearby train depot on July 16, 2006, killing 8 Israel Railways workers. It was restored 29 days later, on August 14, two days after the ceasefire went into effect.

On July 16, 2007, one year after the incident, the station was renamed "Haifa Merkaz Hashemona" (Haifa Center of the Eight) to commemorate the eight victims.

Train service[edit]

Haifa Center Railway Station is a station on both the main North-South coastal line of Israel Railways (which serves parts of the Nahariya – Haifa – Tel-AvivBen-Gurion AirportModi'in, the Nahariya – Haifa – Tel-Aviv – LodBeersheba, and in the future the Haifa – Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem Intercity Lines) and the suburban line serving Haifa's northern suburbs – The Qrayot, Akko (Acre), and Nahariya (Haifa - Akko/Nahariya Suburban Service). The station is situated between Lev HaMifratz Railway Station to the north and Haifa Bat-Galim Railway Station to the south. Train service at the station is very frequent. For example, on weekdays during peak times (7:00-11:00 and 15:00-20:00) there are four trains per hour to and from Tel Aviv Central with a journey time of about one hour.

  • Inter-City Service:
    • On weekdays the station is served by 61 southbound and 62 northbound trains 24 hours a day, with additional trains offered on peak travel days (Sundays and Thursdays).
    • On Fridays and holiday eves the station is served by 21 southbound and 21 northbound trains. The last train departs at 15:59 and the last train arrives at 17:48.
    • On Saturdays and holidays the station is served by 6 southbound and 5 northbound trains. The first train arrives at 22:23 and the first train departs 21:03.
  • Suburban Service:
    • On weekdays the station is served by 32 southbound and 35 northbound suburban trains traveling from Haifa to Akko or Nahariya.

Public transport connections[edit]

Pedestrians on the bridge connecting the port of Haifa's passenger terminal with Ha'Atzma'ut Road and Haifa Center railway station.

Haifa Center Railway Station is located next to HaAtzmaut Road, a major public transport artery, thus easily accessible from both bus and Sherut Taxi (share taxi). Bus lines include:

The station is also within a short walking distance from the Port of Haifa's passenger terminal and is near Kikar Pariz (Hebrew: כיכר פריז‎, Paris Square) — a Carmelit (Haifa's subway) station.

Facilities[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "From press release of May." (Press Release May 2009) (Archive) Israel Railways. Retrieved on 9 April 2013.

External links[edit]

Previous station Israel Railways Next station
Towards: Nahariya
Lev HaMifratz
  NahariyaHaifaTel AvivBe'er Sheva
Inter-City Service
  Towards: Be'er Sheva Central
Haifa Bat Galim
Towards: Nahariya
Lev HaMifratz
  NahariyaHaifaTel AvivBen-Gurion AirportModi'in
Inter-City Service
  Towards: Modi'in Central
Haifa Bat Galim
Towards: Kiryat Motzkin
Lev HaMifratz
  Kiryat Motzkin - Haifa
Suburban Service
  Towards: Hof HaCarmel
Haifa Bat Galim

Coordinates: 32°49′19.82″N 34°59′49.36″E / 32.8221722°N 34.9970444°E / 32.8221722; 34.9970444