Train Tracks to Jerusalem

July 2005

The story of the Jaffa-Jerusalem train line and its moments – greater and smaller, nostalgic and little known. The exhibition presented some 60 photographs collected from archives in Israel and abroad and told the story of the people, places and landscapes that the train passed since it was established. The exhibition incorporated short films including one documenting the train making its way through the snow and the residents of the plain excitedly traveling to see the white city. Another film documented the repeated attempts to sabotage the train by both Jews and Arabs. The exhibition hall was transformed into a train station, and the visitors strolled on the platform as if waiting for the train to arrive.

The story of the Jaffa-Jerusalem train line is the story of the people of the mountain and the plain, tourists and pilgrims who wished the make their way between Jaffa (later Tel Aviv) and Jerusalem. But it is just as much the story of government ideologies and interests, wars and conquests, cultures and religions which are so typical of this area.

The archaeological garden in the courtyard became a mini-park of model trains. Eleven toy trains designed to weather rain and snow traveled the various levels of the courtyard on half a kilometre of train track. The trains were equipped with sound and light systems and crossed bridges laid over ancient cisterns, creating non-stop movement.

Elsewhere in the museum, a model of an imaginary city of trains was presented. The model was planned and built for almost a year by Shimon Futterman, a sworn train enthusiast and collector, who labored to create a city where the trains never stop. The building of the model was documented around the clock and made into a film shown in the exhibition.

Exhibition Curators: Renee Sivan and Liat Margalit
Design: Roth // Tevet > Interior Design

Exhibition Catalogue

  • racevet-heb

    Train Tracks to Jerusalem

    Available in Hebrew, English
    73 pages
    20 cm. x 20 cm.

    More Details >