Israel. ATM issues 2018

2018. Trains in Israel

2018 sees Israel Post marking the 35th anniversary of the foundation of the Israel Railways Museum and dedicating its annual series of ATM designs to the history of the railways in the country.
The designs by Ronen Goldberg feature different types of locomotives that have been used throughout history, complemented by special postmarks and first day covers illustrated with images of railway stations.
In recent years, the state-owned Israel Railways has been immersed in an ambitious modernization programme, with the electrification of several lines and, in particular, the construction of a high-speed line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which could be inaugurated at the end of 2018.

As in the earlier annual issues, the first design introduces the series, with a composition including the image of a modern electric locomotive, and an older steam one.
This first design was only obtainable from January 1st 2018, and later on, from all aCon SPU STAMP postal kiosks. In some cases, the design will be used throughout the year, whilst in some machines it will only be used until the introduction of a new one.

The rolls of labels are manufactured, on self-adhesive paper with a flexo digital imprint, by Tadbick Ltd. The size of the label is 58 x 27 mm, with perforated vertical edges. 
The postal kiosk prints the machine code on the stamp (00001, used by the philatelic service) and the face value (NIS 2.50), in the upper right hand corner. The imprint is black and effected by thermal transfer

With the new postal rates in force in Israel from January 1st 2018, the six values ​​programmed in the aCon kiosks, on the date of issue, were NIS 2.50 (small face value = domestic postage rate) - 4.00 - 6.50 - 7.40 - 8.30 - 9.00.
The images below show the introduction dates of the new design in the ten aCon - Inbar postal kiosks in operation at different post offices across the country.

The first day cover is illustrated with two images showing the evolution of the railway network in this geographical zone, from the first line built in 1892 from Jaffa to Jerusalem to the present day network.

The second design is dedicated to 'The Valley Railway', a railway line built during the Ottoman period running from the port of Jaffa to Dera'a (part of Syria today), and a branch of the Hedjaz Railway. The railway line was inaugurated in 1905 and regular services operated until 1948.
In 2011, Israel Railway started the construction of a new line on the same route, which was inaugurated in October 2016.

The image shows an historic picture of the steam locomotive 2-8-2, number 265, featured in the issue, pulling a passenger train.
This locomotive was built by the Sächsische Maschinenfabrik Richard Hartmann, in Chemnitz, in 1918 (work number 4034), and was the last engine acquired for the Hedjaz Railway; the regular railway line that ran from Damascus to Medina.

This design was available, from February 6th 2018, from postal kiosk 00714, installed in the Haifa post office and also from the machine used by the philatelic service (code 00001).

The cover features a 1913 photo of the East Haifa railway station, built in 1904 by the Ottoman authorities as the western terminus station of the 'Valley Railway'.

The third design of the series is dedicated to the steam locomotives.
Israel Railways used more than 40 steam locomotives since the creation of the company, in 1948, until the acquisition of the new diesel locomotives (next issue) at the start 1954.
All these steam locomotives were taken over from the former Palestine Railways.

One of the few preserved steam locomotives is exhibited in the Beersheba Turkish Railway station, an historical station built in 1915 during Ottoman rule and declared a National Historic Site in 1991 having been renovated in 2013 as a museum.
The steam locomotive 2-8-0 was built by the North British Locomotive Works in 1940, work number 24641, and used by the Turkish Republic Railways (TCDD) from 1941 with the number 45166. In Beer-Sheva, the locomotive was numbered 70414, in recognition of the engine featured in a popular Hebrew song and film of the 1950s.

As with the previous issue, the 'Steam locomotives' design was available, from April 9th 2018, with two different codes, 00001, belonging to the philatelic service, and 00220, the code of the postal kiosk installed in the Beer-Sheva branch.

The first day cover features a photo of the older Beer-Sheva North railway station, inaugurated in March 1956.
This was the only train station of the city, until the construction of the new central station, opened in 2000, and the new North station, in 2005.

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This page was created in March 2018 and last updated:  17.06.18 . English edition last rewritten by J. Gareze (22.05.2018)