From Academic Kids

The Carmelit is a subway (underground metro) in Haifa, Israel. It was originally opened in 1956 (or 1959, according to other sources), but was closed in 1986 after showing signs of aging. It was reopened after extensive renovations in September 1992.

Because much of Haifa is built on top of the Carmel mountain, the Carmelit (named after this mountain) is a peculiar subway system that goes uphill - an underground funicular that works much like an elevator. This also made the Carmelit cars have a very distinctive slanted design. The altitude difference between the first and last stations is 274 meters.

The Carmelit is one of the smallest subway systems in the world, having only four cars, six stations and its single tunnel spanning a mere 1800 meters. These four cars are divided into two two-car trains, which run on single track with a short double track section to allow trains to cross. The small number of stations means that the Carmelit only serves a small part of Haifa - what used to be the important population and business centers at the time it was designed. Nowadays, the vast majority of people living in Haifa are not close to any of those stations, making it very lightly used by today's Haifa population. There have been talks of extending the Carmelit's tunnels to reach more population centers, but such an extension was never done, primarily for economic reasons. Instead, the most widely used public transportation system in Haifa are Egged buses which cover most of the city.

Despite the Carmelit being a very small subway system, it is not the smallest in the world - the Istanbul Tunel, spanning two stations and 573 meters, is smaller. However, since Istanbul also has a newer and bigger (though separate) subway system, sometimes the Haifa Carmelit is nevertheless mentioned as the smallest subway in the world.

In 2004, the Carmelit is still the only subway in Israel. There are plans for a subway or light rail systems in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, but those have yet to materialize.


The Carmelit has six stations, listed here going downhill:

  • Gan Ha'em ("the mother's garden"): In the Carmel Center neighborhood, adjacent to the Haifa zoo, a panoramic promenade, the Haifa Auditorium, and many shops and hotels.
  • Golomb: Near the Bnei Zion (Rothschild) hospital and the Bah' World Centre.
  • Massada(named after Masada ( upper Hadar Hacarmel: near Massada st. and Nordau st., with their galleries, antique shops, cafes and restaurants. Close to the science museum.
  • Hanevi'im ("the prophets"): Hadar Hacarmel: Near Hanevi'im, Herzl and Hachalutz streets, and their shops, offices. Close to the Haifa museum.
  • Solel Boneh: Near Hanevi'im tower, Ha'atzmaut park, and the Haifa city hall.
  • Kikar Pariz (Paris Square): Downtown. Near government building and courthouse, Ha'atzmaut street, walking distance to train station.

Operating hours

  • Sunday through Thursday: 06:00 - 22:00
  • Friday and holiday eves: 06:00 - 15:00
  • Saturday: 19:00 (or later, when Shabbat ends) - 22:00

External links

he:כרמלית de:Carmelit


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