The International Steam Pages

Israel Railway (IR) Preservation, February 21st - 25th, 2015
Part 2

See also:


Many thanks to Chen Melling for his kind assistance and taking the time to act as guide around Haifa’s rail sites.

Diesel main line locomotives:

During and after World War II, a number of German and American military diesels were brought to Palestine; however none of these lasted very long. The first main line diesels to be built for Israel Railways were the three EMD NW5m Bo-Bo DE No. 101 – 103 built under license in Belgium by Société Anglo-Franco-Belge (SAFB) in 1952. Two of the locos have been preserved at the Railway Museum, No. 101 (unrestored) and 102 (restored):

Before the arrival of the large number of diesels from Spain (GEC Alsthom, Alstom and Vossloh, 1998-2012) Israel Railways’ image was for a long time dominated by the 23 EMD G12 Bo-Bo DE No. 104 – 126 built between 1955 and 1966. In 1967, another four G12 were seized as war booty in the Sinai from Egyptian National Railways (ENR), of which three (ENR 3712/5/66, built 1960/61) were handed over to IR to become No. 127 – 129, together with a single G8 (ENR 3526 = IR 251) and three G16 (see below), while the fourth G12 (ENR 3795) had been shot-up so badly that it was scrapped. The three Egyptian G12s and the G8 were sold to NRE in the U.S. in 2005 together with IR 104 and 109, IR 112 was sent to a private contractor for rebuilding and never returned and IR 113 sold to one of the Negev industrial mining operations, and IR 105/106/110/118/119/123 were scrapped, but eleven G12 remain with IR. Eight or nine are still actively used for shunting, mainly at Haifa and Ashdod, while IR plans to rebuild the other two. Two more have been preserved, No. 107 (EMD 19962 of 1955) at the Railway Museum and very derelict-looking No. 114 (26765 of 1961), which had for a time been stored at Tel Aviv Darom (South) station, at the closed Nahal Sorek station with four freight wagons. The other pictures show 121, 122 and 125 which are still in use. 

The three Egyptian G16 (ENR 3304/29/61 built in 1960/61) seized in the Sinai became IR 161 – 163 and were Israel’s most powerful diesels until the arrival of the first EMD G26CWs in 1971. After their withdrawal, No. 163 (EMD 26394 of 1961) was put on display at the Railway Museum while the other two are stored at Qishon Works with an order from the General Manager not to scrap them. The Egyptian colours have started to appear under the fading IR paint:

Diesel shunting locomotives:

During the 1956 war with Egypt, together a number of steam locos, ENR 0-6-0DH 4239 (Jung R360C 12174 of 1954) was seized by the Israelis in the Sinai and turned over to IR, which used it for some time. It did not prove very satisfactory however and was quickly withdrawn. At about the same time, as part of the reparations agreement between Israel and West Germany, IR started receiving new German-built equipment, including 18 0-6-0DHs Nos. 211-228 similar to the DB V60s in 1956/57. Built by Esslingen and and equipped with Maybach-MTU engines, they remained in use until 1998 and three have been preserved:

No. 212 (ME 5144/1956) at the Railway Museum;

No. 213 (ME 5145/1956), as No. 211, first at National Transport Institute and now at the Alroy Valley Train Station in Kiryat Elro’I (Kiryat Tiv’on) near Haifa;

No. 223 (ME 5232/1957) at the HaKatar Garden (HaGalim St.) in Kfar Saba.

Two years later, three small Deutz 0-4-0DM No. 201-203 followed, two of which have been preserved:

No. 202 (Jung A12L614 R 57062/1959) at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv;

No. 203 (Jung A12L614 R 57063/1959) as No. 201 at the Israel Railway Museum in Haifa;

Diesel Multiple Units:

Also part of the West German reparations, in 1955/56 a total of DMUs, made up of 12 power cars (VT), 22 intermediate trailers (VM) and 12 driving trailers (VS) were delivered. These were mainly built by Esslingen, with some cars subcontracted to LHB, and were close copies of DB’s VT08s built at around the same time. In Israel they were not very successful and were soon converted into hauled stock. After their withdrawal due to the arrival of more modern passenger stock many of them were sold to private owners and used as sheds, shops, etc… A number still survive today:

VT No. 7 at the Kfar Kedem archeological site in Hosha’aya, in use as a building;

VS No. 3 (LHB 1955) at the Israel Railway Museum in Haifa;

VS No. 5 at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, this was traded against Hedjaz Railway 0-6-0T No. 10 by the Israel Railway Museum;

Part of a VS at the HaPa’anom (Liberty Bell) Garden in Jerusalem (King David St.), used as a storage shed by the Train Theatre (which was formerly housed in another Esslingen coach until it burned down), it was supposed to be scrapped soon;

a VM (rebuilt 1994 as regular 84-seat coach No. 113) at the Israel Railway Museum in Haifa;

Click here for Part 3.

Rob Dickinson