טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentHar-Noy Adi
SubjectConservation of the Railway Heritage in Israel - Case Study:
The Palestin Railway Line Haifa-Kantara
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Mr. Shmuel Groag
Professor Nitza Szmuk
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

This work aims to establish a claim that in some cases within the heritage conservation area, in order to define certain phenomenon, one group of paradigm is not sufficient, and integration between two or more groups of paradigms is required. 

In order to establish this claim a historic railway was chosen as a linear setting which can be related to two existing arenas within contemporary heritage debate: conservation of Industrial Heritage, and Cultural Routes.

This work aims to propose a method to forming conservation policies for historic railways, based on the integration of these two arenas, and to investigate its efficacy by applying this method to a specific railway in Israel, the Haifa- Kantara line. This historic railway was the main line of the British Palestine Railways. This line originated in the Ottoman period, was at its functional peak during the British Mandate years (1920’s to 1940’s), and still operates partially today.  

Historic railways pose a new challenge to the field of Heritage Conservation around the world, and also in the Middle East. In approaching the conservation of such an entity, multiple elements, strung along a narrow linear space within a wide geographical area, need to be taken into account. Historic railways often encompass hundreds, sometimes thousands, of diverse objects, reflecting a range of topics and significances. All these must be considered together within a unified and holistic policy.

By examining Historic Railways as industrial Heritage on the one hand, and Cultural Routes on the other, a set of criteria for assessing Historic Railways was formed. These criteria are the basis of the seven stages required for arriving at a conservation policy for a particular Historic Railway, as developed in this essay. These seven stages are carried out regarding the Haifa-Kantara Railway, and conclude in a specific conservation policy.

Above and beyond its application to a particular railway, the approach developed in this essay can be applied as a tool for developing conservation policies for other railways, as well as other types of thematic units, spaces, fabrics and compounds which occupy large geographical areas. Such spaces can range from waterways or valleys to roads, infrastructure systems etc.  

The integrative approach which perceives different historic remnants scattered across a large area as related to each other through joined themes is the essence of the proposed process. It promotes a deeper understanding of heritage in its wider contexts and allows a coherent and holistic approach to its conservation.