From Tuesday afternoon to the present, train service between central and southern Israel is substantially disrupted, following an accident involving the derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials.
From Wednesday afternoon to Thursday evening all public transport is offline anyway, for the Sukkot holiday's end with Simchat Torah.
Specifically, Israel Railways service between the southern cities of Kiryat Gat and Be'er Sheva remains suspended following Monday's derailment of a cargo train transporting bromine and potassium.
The train veered off its tracks near Kiryat Gat. None of the hazardous chemicals leaked and no one was hurt.
You can go by train from Tel Aviv to Kiryat Gat, but there is no service to Be'er Sheva at this time following the accident. Moreover, the train to Kiryat Gat will be operating on a limited basis over the next few days: One train (making local stops) is running per hour from Tel Aviv to Kiryat Gat during regular weekday hours. No express service is available.
Travelers wishing to head further south from there will have to take shuttle buses provided by Israel Railways – and these are reportedly experiencing crowding and delays as well.
In addition, express trains that usually run from Herzliya to Be'er Sheva have also been suspended until further notice.
According to reports, six kilometers of train tracks were damaged in the accident and Israel Railways is even considering working through the holiday to repair the damage.