Dec 14, 2011

Israel FDC on "The Valley Railway"

First Day Cover
Sobrescrito de 1.º Dia


The Valley Railway

Date of Issue : 6 December 2011

Design :
Stamp – Hijaz Railway “Hartmann 2-8-2” steam engine and a train against the background of the Jezreel Valley landscape
Tab – Turkish period buildings at the Kfar Yehoshua station, which were renovated and restored and currently serve as a visitor’s center
First Day Cover – Steam engine number 152, an “SLM 2-8-0”, leading a train into the Beit Yosef station in the 1930’s. In the background – a map of the Valley

“The Valley Railway” (Rakevet HaEmek) is the Hebrew nickname for the Haifa branch line of the famed Hijaz Railway.

The branch line to Haifa was built from 1903-1906, to transport materials imported via sea and required for the construction of the Hijaz Railway’s main line. It was largely based on a failed project from the late 19th century, led by a British company that tried to establish a rail line from Haifa to Damascus. The line began at the Haifa Station (today Haifa East), continuing southeast along the foot of Mount Carmel to the Jezreel Valley and the city of Afula. From there, the track descended toward Beit She’an, where it turned north and continued through the Jordan Valley to Samakh, where a second main station was established, also serving the city of Tiberius. From Samakh the rail line continued eastward, ascending toward the Hauran Plateau through the Yarmouk Valley to Daraa in southern Syria, where it connected to the main line of the Hijaz Railway. This last section of the line posed complex challenges for the railway engineers, eventually leading to the construction of some 15 bridges and 7 tunnels along the Yarmouk alone.

The stamp and the FDC cover is very nice. Its just a pity that the stamp is double cancellation with an unclear datestamp postmark. Its a surprise to me that there is a Hong Kong TCL datestamp postmark of a rather special date of 13-12-11 on the back of the FDC. I just like it. Thank you very much to my friend !

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