Construction of railway in Iran was a great and national expectation, which this national wish came to reality in 1927. October 15, 1927 marked the beginning of constructing the trans-Tehran railway; since the very time the construction of railway was commenced at three points from South – Centre and North.
When the trans-railway was on the verge of completion, the Ministry of Roads and Transportation was committed to construct the other lines; the first line the construction of which started following the trans-railway was the Garmsar – Mashhad line. Construction of the said line was commenced on 15 March 1937, its infrastructure and rail laying up to Shahroud station (315 km) completed in 1941 and its operation began; but the constructional work from Sharoud onwards stopped due to the World War II, till end of war and removal of impediments, once again construction of this line resumed in 1947 by the Ministry of Roads and Transportation and the budget assigned by the Planning and Budget Org., and completed on 7 January 1956.
Of the whole network 81.6% of the main lines are single track and 18.4% are double tracked.
Key infrastructure projects of Iranian Railways
- Construction of Qazvin – Rasht – Astara (372 km) is considered as the key route on the North – South corridor and is among the heaviest rail projects of Iran. Construction of this line has got around 70% progress.
- Connection to Iraq through two projects:
- Short-term project of Khorramshahr – Basra (51 km); operational work has been commenced by Iran with 16 km of length and the studies for the route in Iraq is in the final phase;
- Long-term project of Arak – Kermanshah – Khosravi-Qaneqin (536 km); sub-structuring from Arak to Kermanshah is underway.
- Construction of Sangan – Herat (191 km), is aimed at connecting Afghanistan to the rail networks of Iran, Central Asia, Middle-East, Europe, also accessibility of Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea. Substructure of two sections in Iran is complete and substructure of third section in Afghanistan is underway by the Government of Iran.
- Chabahar Port-Birjand-Mashhad project (1330 km) aims to make a rail link from Sarakhs to Chabahar in the south to connect CIS countries to the Persian Gulf. Executive operations are already started.
- High speed double track railways of Tehran-Qom- Isfahan (410 km)
- High speed electrified railway of Tehran –Mashhad (940 km)