Israel Railways is the state operator of all passenger and freight railways in Israel. Although Israeli cars drive on the right side of the road, as a former British Mandate, Israel Railways uses “left-handed” operation (as does neighboring Egypt). Israel Railways was founded upon the declaration of Israel’s independence in 1948, inheriting lines that were formerly operated by Palestine Railways under the British Mandate and rebuilding many of them, as they were damaged during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Today, Israel Railways operates over 700 miles of track serving 55 stations. The majority of the Israel Railways lines run along the Mediterranean coast and in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, but there are lines extending south to Be’er Sheva and east to Jerusalem. In addition, there are plans to extend the network north and east to Beit She’an, Karmiel, and Kiryat Shemona. The majority of the Israel Railways rolling stock is imported from Europe and is similar to many models that can be found on other countries’ railroads.
The IC3 "Flexliner" DMU trains are the only self-propelled passenger units on the Israel Railways network. These trains are most easily found on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line since the Alstom diesel locomotives are unable to climb the steep grades found on that line. Israel Railways has operated the IC3 DMU since 1992, and currently has 48 3-car trainsets. Trainsets can be coupled together to create a 6 car train.
Service on the Jerusalem-Jaffa Railway was suspended in 1998. Following its reopening in 2005, the line terminated at a new station constructed next to the Malha Mall, rather than the original "Khan" station closer to central Jerusalem. The line between Malha and the Old Jerusalem station was abandoned for many years and ultimately converted to a linear park in 2012.