One of the most prominent and unique engineering feats of the 19th century which not only developed but revolutionised Iran’s modern industries is the Trans-Iranian Railway. Although the concept of Modernism was first introduced to Iranians thanks to Naser al-Din Shah’s (1848–1896) travels to Europe, Iran’s modern achievements reached their peak during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi (1925 – 1941). During Reza Shah’s reign, Iran began to become a more reliable trading partner to Europe, causing lots of cultural and technological exchanges between Iranians and their European counterparts in the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, the Trans-Iranian Railway was born out of the combined efforts of European and Iranian ingenuity.

General characteristics

The Trans-Iranian Railway features 1,394 kilometers of Iron rails, including 90 working stations. It begins right at the Torkaman port in southeast of the Caspian sea, and, after passing through the central parts of Iran, ends in the southern province of Ahwaz in the grand bridge in Karoon. Individual  geographical aspects and eye-catching landscapes including a variety of mountains, ponds, forests, deserts, as well as other natural resources make the journey between each station completely unique.

Highlights Of UNESCO Criteria

The Trans-Iranian Railway is listed among UNESCO’s heritage sites based on the following intrinsic standard criteria. The railway has been quite influential in shaping the cultural and urban development of Iran. The railway didn’t just expand the economic, societal, cultural and political identity of the regions in which it travels. It also brought deep cultural and social interactions between Iranians and Europeans. Additionally, the collaboration of different indigenous Iranian architectects with their  European counterparts from countries including Germany, Austria, Britain, Denmark and Russia has made the railway a masterpiece of its time.

The engineering challenges of handling Iran’s notoriously difficult terrains also make this creation quite a remarkable structure. The excavation and preparations needed for the many bridges, tunnels, dams and stations are the result of Iranian ingenuity and new European technologies of the time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]