I’ve been on many underground railways over the years. New York, Stockholm, San Francisco, Paris, St Petersburg, Chicago. The list goes on. My adventures on the London Underground, the famous Tube, even made it into Jaspa’s Journey 2: The Pride of London!
Yet one of the most memorable has to be the Carmelit in Haifa, Israel. For a start, it has a mere six stations and only two trains, each comprised of just two cars, making it one of the smallest subway systems in the world. It’s also a single track for most of its length.
But what makes it really special, is that along its brief 1.1 miles it climbs almost 900 feet up the inside of Mount Carmel. In fact, the Carmelit is actually an underground funicular railway, an inclined railway in which the two trains are connected by a cable and counterbalance each other.
I have to admit, it’s a very odd sensation to stand on a platform made of large steps, beside a sloping track. And things get even stranger once the train arrives!
A short walk from the uppermost Carmelit station (Gan Ha’em) takes you to another marvellous straight line inside the limits of Haifa. Like the Carmelit, the Bahá’í Gardens ascend the slopes of Mount Carmel in single straight line. Half way up the gardens is the Bahá’í Temple, home of the Bahá’í faith, although the temple was sadly shrouded in scaffolding during our visit.
While you’re marvelling at the underground railroad inside Mount Carmel, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?
And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!