Trans-Iranian Railway

Trans-Iranian Railway
Photo in the Public Domain.

The Trans-Iranian Railway is a 1,394 km long work of transportation infrastructure that crosses 8 provinces from North to South.

It was completed in 1938. Its two segments connect the ports of Bandar-e Torkaman on the Caspian Sea and Bandar-e Imam Khomeini on the Persian Gulf via Teheran. Many bridges and tunnels had to be constructed to overcome hills and gorges. It was a prestige modernization project by the newly established Pahlavi state of Iran.

Map of Trans-Iranian Railway

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Zoë Sheng

Chinese-Canadian - 01-Feb-19 -

Trans-Iranian Railway by Zoë Sheng

What does it take for a railway to become heritage? Is it the history, the track building, the engineering, the trains? Italy/Switzerland is the best and arguably the most loved place to enjoy engineering master class with the Bernina Express and Austria has a similar line. The Indian train tracks I wasn't equally impressed with but again they feature the tracks. For Iran I will assume, the famous architecture they mention in the documents is about specific bits here and there that combine into the Trans-Iran railway.

So what does it take to view the “site”? Tehran Railway Station is surely not the place to admire it. I picked a few spots on the way but I wasn't convinced with the inscription attempt. A bridge up in the mountain is impressive, sure, but not unique, and adding many bits together still doesn't make it an attraction.

I didn't ride on the tracks, maybe that helps, but I think it wouldn't give me a better view. Given that I would need to figure out how to ride it, where to ride it to, not knowing which places are the best, and invest at least a day to ride it back and forth made me decide against it, at least not before the exact spots have been defined for an inscription.

Site Info

Full Name
Trans-Iranian Railway
Unesco ID
2 4
Human activity - Transport and Trade

Site History

2021 Advisory Body overruled

ICOMOS advised Deferral

2021 Inscribed

2019 Incomplete - not examined


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Trans-Iranian Railway