During the lead-up to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war
train was mined several times. The train was attacked because it was used by the British soldiers. The attached military coaches were targeted.
On February 29, the Jewish underground group Lehi mined the train north of Rehovot, killing 28 soldiers and wounding 35. No civilians were hurt. One or more bombs laid on the track were detonated from a nearby orange grove. Lehi took credit for the bombing of the British train as revenge for the Ben Yehuda Street Bombing in Jerusalem. "The train was the normal daily passenger express to which four military coaches had been attached".
On March 31, the train was mined near Binyamina, a Jewish settlement in the neighborhood of Caesarea, killing 40 persons and wounding 60. The casualties were all civilians, mostly Arabs. Although there were some soldiers on the train, none were injured. The Palestine Post and the New York Times attributed the attack to Lehi.
- 'Cairo-To-Haifa Train Mined 28 British Soldiers Killed And 35 Wounded, Stern Gang Claims Responsibility For Attack', The Times, Monday, March 1, 1948; pg. 4; Issue 51008; col A.
- 'Cairo-Haifa Train Mined Again 40 Killed And 60 Wounded, Problem Of Preserving Sanctity Of Jerusalem', The Times, Thursday, April 1, 1948; pg. 4; Issue 51034; col A.
- Dana Adams Schmidt, '40 Arabs Are Slain In Mining of Train: 60 More Are Injured In Blast Near Haifa - Derailment is Laid to Stern Group', New York Times, 1 April, 1948.
- '40 Arabs Killed, 60 Injured, In Train Blast', Palestine Post, April 1, 1948; page 1.
- Unknown Soldiers The Operation Book of Lehi, Yaakov Banai, 1987.