Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Jaunt to Jerusalem (2)

After passing near the famous Damascus Gate, Jerusalem's tram line (light railway line) veers right into Jaffa Street ...
... with its name in Hebrew, Arabic and English, indicative of the multi cultural tensions that exist there. Historically, Jaffa Street was the ancient road that led to Jaffa (wowsers!), Joppa in the Bible. Jaffa/Joppa is now a relatively insignificant suburb of  Tel Aviv ...
... but is the brand name of a marketing syndicate that exports oranges! Even oranges have been used politically.
Very sad.

As part of the Red Line tram plans, Jaffa Street, the main shopping and civic thoroughfare in Jerusalem was made tram only! Imagine London being brave enough to do that with Oxford Street - no cars, no buses, no lorries - just trams!

This impressed No 1 son no end; he felt it made the centre of Jerusalem "a very pleasant place" ...
... "and very quiet". Definitely NOT Oxford Street nowadays.

The busy King George Street crosses at right angles ...
... with plenty pf noise, buses and other traffic. Ki'akh Street is similar ...
... and there are odd bits of Jaffa Street where one way traffic is allowed for access, but generally right through the city centre, trams reign supreme.
Total isolation returns to reserved track and junction priority as "Central Station" is approached. And there are no trains in this impressive station.
The departure stands for the buses are on the third floor!
But railway will appear nearby - actually it won't appear as it will be underground. Here the street level building for the Jerusalem station on the brand new high speed line to Tel Aviv is taking shape - or was when Streetview was around.
The first section was due to open later this year, but is delayed. (Sounds familiar?); but it does have some spectacular engineering as here with the Ayalon Valley Bridge.
It is spectacular engineering that now greets tram route "red".
From the stations, trams need to turn due south and cross a major road intersection.

It starts innocuously enough ...
... but then bursts into engineering magnificence.
It is all held up by that one "pole" and lots of bits of string ...
... seen here looking back towards the stations. From here the rest of the line is, frankly, ordinary by comparison.

The line terminates at Mount Hertzl station ...
... with a lengthy head shunt as at the northern terminus - all nicely ready for the extensions.
Back at the terminus stop, there is one last surprise.
The car park for the Park and Ride is ...
... underneath the road on which the tram station is situated, with entrance/exit points on two levels.
Check out the red sculptural "thing" in the various pictures and the lift shafts down to the parking below from the tram platforms!
Tomorrow, as part of a "mixed bag" we will take a quick look at tickets and timetables.

 Next Jaunts Various blog : Thursday 2nd August 

1 comment:

  1. Given that London were on the verge of banning all traffic along Oxford Street without having a tram (nice and shiny or otherwise) to provide some form of transport for people wishing to actually access the length of the street I can easily see London doing something similar (It was due to the opening of the new Crossrail station on Oxford Street that this proposal got so far but I was never quite sure if it was because they thought a single station on a single railway line was a full replacement or just they were worried that those important rail passengers might risk getting run over when they walked out of the station and immediately forgot how to cross a road - either way bus passengers from a wide area were seen as less important than train passengers from one corridor to TfL, fortunately Westminster Council had different concerns).