Trans-Iranian Railway

Trans-Iranian Railway

Trans-Iranian Railway

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The Trans-Iranian Railway was a major railway building project started in 1927 and completed in 1938, under the direction of the Persian monarch, Reza Shah, and entirely with indigenous capital. It links the capital Tehran with the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea. The railway connects Tehran to Shahi and Bandar Shah in the north, Semnan to Mashad in the east, Zanjan to Tabriz in the west, and to Ahwaz and Abadan in the south of Iran. During the land reforms implemented by Mohammad Reza Shah in 1963 as part of the "White Revolution" the Trans-Iranian railway was extended to link Tehran to Mashed, Tabriz, and Isfahan.

Before WWI: the Russian scheme

The idea of a railway connecting Russia and India was proposed by several private Russian promoters in 1889, 1900, and 1905. However, the Russian government declined such proposals, fearing that it would jeopardize Russia’s geographically enabled commercial dominance in Iran as well as complicate relations with the British. In 1889 Russia and the Shah agreed that no railways could be built in Iran without the mutual consensus of the Russians. However, by 1910 the agreement was vetoed in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. Fears that Russian interests were no longer primary, alongside the surfacing of anti-Russian political forces in the country, and the emergence of the German threat, made it more important than ever for the country to...
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