We spent at least 2 hours and would have spent more if it had been cooler (was 40 degrees so outdoor stuff impossible and main building is cooled with huge fans that would be plenty if not 40 degrees). Basically, the kids can play in lots of neat trains, and there is interesting information for adults. There is also a smaller building (with AC) that had old train equipment that they let my kids play with (phones and switchboards). My kids loved it.
The Israel Railway Museum provides an historical overview of railways in the Holy Land and their part in the development of the country from the first line between Jaffa and Jerusalem opened in 1892 under Turkish rule, through two World Wars, the British Mandate, and right up to the revitalized Israel Railways of the 21st Century.
Located in the old Turkish-era railway station of Haifa Mizrah (East), the Museum offers a tour through the past with the sight of modern trains passing by, set against a panoramic view of the city of Haifa and Mount Carmel.
The refurbished main exhibits building of the museum was once the locomotive shed of the famous Hedjaz Railway which carried Muslim pilgrims on their way to make the Haj pilgrimage to the holy cities of Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia when it was also possible to travel by narrow gauge steam train from Haifa to Damascus in Syria and to Amman in Jordan.
The main building houses historical locomotives, coaches, wagons, and displays. The collection includes the last authentic steam locomotive to survive in Israel: 0-6-0T No.10 built in Germany in 1902 for the Hedjaz Railway. Outside are more large exhibits including two old travelling steam cranes, as well as a picnic area.
The visit continues with a stroll over the ramped footbridge, crossing the active main line railway below, with splendid views of the station, the trains, the city, and Mount Carmel. At the other side of the footbridge is the small exhibits building of the museum housing historical equipment and work tools, extensive displays of photographs, tickets, stamps, a small model railway layout and more.
The Museum was established in 1983 and in 2000 the main display of historic rolling stock was transferred to a new compound within the station which includes the rebuilt locomotive shed. The small exhibits hall remains housed in the Hedjaz Railway stone-built goods shed.
A visit at the Museum can be enjoyed by all ages and it is recommended to incorporate it with train rides on Israel Railways and the Carmelit – Israel’s only underground funicular railway, the bottom station of which is 10-minutes’s walk from the Museum. When planning your visit, please allow at least one hour for your stay here and even longer should you have children accompanying you.
There is access for disabled persons to most parts of the museum.
For the attention of visitors to the museum – The Train Museum is situated within an operational site of Israel Railways, therefore please act according to safety instructions and avoid approaching the train tracks within the site.
The Museum’s address is Hativat Golani St. 1, Haifa. Please note this address is applicable only to visitors arriving by foot or by public transportation. Visitors arriving by car will find the entrance to the Museum’s driveway at the junction of HaMelacha and Hiram streets.