Monday, April 13, 2009

A Visit to the Light Rail Depot

The Citypass company, which is in charge of Jerusalem’s incipient (we hope) light-rail system, has opened its depot to visitors for the Passover holiday. Yesterday, I headed over.

First, we were taken into a meeting room where company officials told us about the planned rail system (and acknowledged the years of suffering that we residents have put up with for several years while they get the infrastructure built). Here is an artist’s rendering of what the depot will look like when it is completed:

The future light-rail depot

The front of a train car:

Jerusalem light rail rolling stock

The interior of a train car:

Interior of train car

A view from the driver’s seat:

In the driver's seat

Several in a row, with a side view:

Rolling stock

The exterior of the repair and maintenance garage:

Outside of garage building

A quick shot of the interior, taken through a partially open door:

Inside the garage

When I asked whether there will be nighttime trains, as there are currently nighttime buses that run once an hour, the answer, at least for now, was no. But when I asked whether women will be employed as drivers (women bus drivers are a rare sight here, and I don’t believe that Israel Railways has a single woman train driver), the answer was yes. (My answer to that answer: sounds good, and I’ll believe it when I see it.)

When the tour was about to end, I sat in the open train car, leaned my head against the back of the seat and said to the guide, “I want to go home. When do we leave?”

“In a year and a half,” he said.

More photos here.

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