Beit Shemesh train station building
|Location||Beit Shemesh, Israel|
|Previous names||1892–1918: Deir Aban|
Beit Shemesh Station was built under Ottoman rule with the construction of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway, the first rail line in Palestine. The station has been known under four different names: its original name, Dayr Aban, which was changed during the late Mandatory period to Artuf, and later to Hartuv, the name of a nearby Jewish moshava. The location of the station remained unchanged throughout this period, at a point that now lies on the northern border of the city of Beit Shemesh, near Highway 38.
The station was closed to passenger trains in July 1998 due to the poor condition of the tracks. During the upgrade of the Jerusalem line, the station was also redesigned, and the line connected to the Gush Dan train system. The upgrade of the tracks was conducted in two parts: first, which was completed on September 13, 2003, included running track to Beit Shemesh, and the second, concluded on April 9, 2005, extended the line to Jerusalem. At the end of 2006, the track was split in two and the Beit Shemesh station became an intermediate station for transferring between the Tel Aviv-Beit Shemesh line and the Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem line. The split line was cancelled on March 15, 2008.
When the line to Jerusalem was completed on April 9, 2005, rail service on the Tel Aviv-Beit Shemesh line was on IC3 trains only, because this was the type of train with the smallest distance between the bogies. Following numerous cracks in the bogies as a result of the winding track and steep slope and the high cost of operation arising from repair of the bogies, it was decided to use only two IC3 systems on the track to Jerusalem. In 2006, the track was split into two for a trial period: Tel Aviv-Beit Shemesh and Beit Shemesh-Jerusalem. Following the split it was attempted to operate double-decker passenger cars until Beit Shemesh, and IC3 systems until Jerusalem. Due to the prolonged wait times in Beit Shemesh—45 minutes in the direction of Tel Aviv and 15 minutes in the direction of Jerusalem—there was a significant decline in the number of rail passengers to and from Jerusalem. In 2007, it was decided to move the Tel Aviv-Beit Shemesh transfer to Nahal Sorek, instead of the transfer at Na'an. As a result, travel time was lengthened by three minutes for trains travelling on the line in all directions, but the waiting time for the train change to and from Jerusalem was reduced to five minutes. With the reduction of travel times, the number of passengers gradually began to rise. The line split was cancelled on March 15, 2008. In 2017 the line split was reinstated with waiting times of between 5 and 31 minutes. A few trains per day run direct.
Structure of the station
Tel Aviv – Jerusalem line
From Sunday to Thursday, a train leaves the station every hour in the direction of Tel Aviv, and every one or two hours in the direction of Jerusalem.
On Fridays and holiday evenings, trains leave the station every hour in the direction of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
On Shabbat evenings and holiday evenings, a single train stops at the station in the direction of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
- Friedman, Jane. "SLOW TRAIN TO JERUSALEM", The New York Times, August 7, 1983. Accessed September 23, 2007. "Built in 1892 by the French during the Turkish reign, the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line is one of the few early Middle East train lines to have survived the effects of wars and sands."
- "Opening of the Stations Beit Shemesh and HaRishonim" (in Hebrew). Israel Railway News. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
|Preceding station||Israel Railways||Following station|
|Netanya – Tel Aviv – Beit Shemesh