Rail travel in Israel has been modernized and developed extensively over the past ten years or so, meaning that Israel Railways, the national train operator, offers a great option for getting around, particularly within the Coastal Plain. Trains in Israel are clean, generally modern, and air-conditioned, and are reliable and relatively frequent. The stations are also relatively new, and particularly useful routes for visitors to Israel include the train from Ben Gurion Airport from Tel Aviv, Haifa, and many intermediate cities, as well as the trains to Tel Aviv from its suburbs.
Ben Gurion Airport Train Station is located beneath the taxi station as you arrive at the airport. The station is on the line between Modiin and Nahariya, which means that it is easy to get trains from Ben Gurion Airport to Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Netanya, and Haifa. These trains run frequently, generally twice an hour, and are perhaps the quickest option to get from the airport to many cities.
There are four train stations in Tel Aviv spanning the city from North to South. They are all located on the eastern edge of the city, following the Ayalon Highway. From the station, downtown Tel Aviv is very walkable, however it may be easier to get a bus (which run frequently to many central destinations) or a cab. The main train station in Tel Aviv is Tel Aviv Center (or Tel Aviv Savidor Mercaz) which is particularly convenient seeing as the Arlozorov Bus Terminal (Tel Aviv 2000 Terminal) is located just next door, from where there are large numbers of bus services within Tel Aviv and beyond (including buses to Jerusalem every 10-20 minutes). Other train stations in Tel Aviv include Tel Aviv University which serves the northern neighborhood of Ramat Aviv and the University, Tel Aviv HaShalom which is located next to the Azrieli Center, one of the city’s largest malls, and is within walking distance of The White City and Rothschild Boulevard (20 mins approx), and Tel Aviv HaHagana which is convenient for South Tel Aviv.
As well as the main commuter lines running North to South, there are railway lines to Beer Sheva in the Negev Desert, Ashkelon, and Nahariya. Trains to Jerusalem do run from Tel Aviv, however, until the new fast line opens in a few years time, take much longer than a bus, involving a change of train. Buses between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem run very frequently and take less than an hour.
For further information on train travel in Israel, check out the Israel Railways website which is fully in English and provides timetable, route and ticket information. www.rail.co.il/EN