Rail Photo of the Month: January 2018

Alstom Citadis 302 003

Alstom Citadis 302 003

Location: Hatzanchanim Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Operator of Vehicle: Citipass
Date of Photo: June 2, 2016

Jerusalem has been in the news quite a bit lately.  Despite what you may see in the press, life goes on in what you would likely consider to be a normal way in this extraordinary complex city, and thousands use the city’s public transportation system to travel between home, work, school, shopping, and other destinations.  The light rail line that opened in 2011 is a rolling melting pot used by all the sectors of the city’s population.  At pretty much any time of day at any point along the line, you’ll be crammed in to a car with secular Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Palestinians, and tourists.  The light rail line serves a variety of different neighborhoods, including the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina, as well as the city center.  While there is a notable security presence and the Alstom Citadis 302 rolling stock used in Jerusalem had some special modifications made to it in the interest of counter-terrorism, aside from a brief service suspension due to safety issues in 2014, incidents of violence on the light rail have been few and far between.  Jerusalem is a fascinating city that should be on your potential traveling destinations for a host of reasons, and if you’re a transit fan, the light rail gives you an additional one.  

For more photos of the Jerusalem Light Rail, please click here

Jerusalem Meets Paris

Alstom Citadis 302 001 on Derech Yafo (Jaffa Road) at Shlomtzion HaMalka, June 2, 2016

The Jerusalem Light Festival has been taking place each summer since 2011.  Each night for just over a week, exhilarating light displays are set up throughout the Old City.  This year, the festival extended up Jaffa Road, the historic main thoroughfare through the newer, western part of the city that now also serves as the right of way for the Jerusalem Light Rail route through the city center.  One of the installations on Jaffa Road was a miniature Eiffel Tower.  Since the light rail operates using French built Alstom Citadis 302 vehicles, it seemed only natural to try getting a photo of the Eiffel Tower replica and a light rail train in the same shot.  This is where my title for the photo, and this post, came from.

Jaffa Road has become a great pedestrian space since road was closed to vehicular traffic and the light rail was constructed on the thoroughfare, so it was difficult to get a shot without pedestrians blocking either the train, the Eiffel Tower model, or both.  Furthermore, the fact it was night meant that I needed to be using settings that ran the risk of a blurry photo if I wasn’t steady while I operated the camera and as the train went by.  (This photo was taken with an ISO speed of 800, a shutter speed of 1/50 second, and an f-stop of 3.5.)  Despite the fact it was about midnight when I was there, trains were running fairly frequently, and I had several opportunities to try getting the photo I desired.  This is the best of my attempts, and I think it is quite a good one.

Incidentally, this isn’t my only photo of the light rail with a connection to this year’s light festival.  Several trains had a band of lights installed along their rooflines and I got a few photos of those trains, too.  One of those photos can be seen below.

Alstom Citadis 302 037 on HaTsanhanim between Damascus Gate and Kikar Tzahal, June 2, 2016

For more photos of the Jerusalem Light Rail, please click here.  Oren’s Transit Page also has photos from some of the other cities around the world that operate the Alstom Citadis 302, including Paris, Madrid, and Rotterdam.