Train is one of the most known and highly applicable means of transportation in the world and plays key role in transfer of people and equipments. Despite many years after its invention, train is still highly welcomed by the people from different countries. Travelling Iran by train is one of the best methods of transportation methods tourists are interested in.
Due to development of railway system in Iran that has been inaugurated about 100 years ago and at Reza Shah Era; it is one of the very appropriate and low price options for travel to different cities in Iran. If you want to travel to Iran and make visit to different cities in the country as a tourist; traveling Iran by train is one of the best transportation options for you.
Through technological progress and development of many components and capabilities in trains; nowadays, travelers and tourists show much interest in this means of transportation. However, it has to be noted that, main part of structure and principles of railway and trains have been maintained in their initial state. However, during recent years buying e-tickets and new methods of ticket reservation have created many changes in the field; and, traveling Iran by train has become simpler and people are more satisfied.
In this article, we are going to review history of railway in Iran and its evolution path, and to study characteristics of domestic trains, railway paths, and some points regarding best ticket reservation method. If you are one of those who came to Iran for tourism and would like to use the train to travel to different cities of this country, follow us on the next sections of this article.
History of railway system in Iran
Nowadays, there is almost no news of steam or coal engines in locomotives; however, still the term “smoky machine” is heard from older people in Iran. The reason is the smoke coming out of train chimney, in the past.
After many political and military challenges establishment of railway in the country has been faced with; it was Monsieur Buatal from French who has been capable of gaining railway construction franchise between Tehran and Shah Abdul-Azim Shrine from Nasserreddin Shah; and, then he sold the franchise to a Belgian company. Aforementioned company with a capital equal to 2 million Frank began construction of railway in Iran; and, first railway has been opened in 1888.
Second railway also has been funded by an Iranian person and constructed from Mahmood Abad port to Amol city. Later, several local railways have been constructed by English men and Russians in different parts of Iran for their own purposes. From among the most important of these railways, reference can be made to Jolfa-Tabriz railway providing many people with possibility of traveling Iran by train.
Finally, in 1927, Iranian railroad from north (Bandar Torkman) to the south (Imam Khomeini Port) has been inaugurated by Reza Shah Pahlavi. Before Islamic Revolution, other railways including Tehran-Mashhad, Bandar Torkman-Gorgan, Badrood-Isfahan, and Kerman-Zarand have been also inaugurated.
After Islamic Revolution and during a period of time, construction of railways has been restarted and Ministry of Roads and City Planning has been responsible for the case, in addition to Deputy Office for Railway Construction and Development.
Various types of trains and characteristics of them
During all these years, extensive changes have been created in rail fleet in the country, including railway electrification, fast speed trains, the fleet being equipped with upgraded wagons and locomotives, as well as new ticket selling methods.
However, facilities and services provided for traveling Iran by train are different from one train to another; and, with consideration of priorities and cost, the most appropriate type can be chosen.
For many tourists, the question has arisen as to whether traveling Iran by train is possible, and if so, what the conditions are. That is, whether the facilities of Iranian trains are good and whether this mode of transport in Iran has the reasonable price or not
If you would like to know the answers to these questions, follow us in this article to tell you the features of different types of trains in Iran.
In general, trains are divided into three structural categories: trains with four-bed or six-bed couchette and bus trains.
Four-bed couchette trains
These types of trains are the most prevailed and welcomed for traveling Iran or many other parts of the world, because of appropriate space and correct placement of travelers. Simorgh, Ghazal, Sabz, Plour Sabz, Zendegi, and Fadak are from popular types of four-bed couchette trains in the country.
From among the aforementioned, activity of luxury trains in Iranian railway fleet has been initiated by Sabz trains; and, they are of high popularity. They have such facilities as double glazed windows, television, power outlet, high quality furniture, and bedside lamp for every one of the passengers. Many of these characteristics along with other facilities such as air condition system, center console, thermal insulators, hospitality measures, and etc. are almost available in all types of these trains.
Five star trains such as Fadak provide more facilities to those people willing for traveling Iran by train. From among these facilities reference could be made to experienced train attendants, high speed, menu with various high quality foods, and comfortable seats.
Six-bed couchette trains
There are also six-bed couchette trains with fewer facilities compared to that of four-bed couchette. However, if traveling with a large family, it would be a better option for you. These types of trains are of lower price, as well. Some examples of these types of trains are Parsi, Mahtab, Zagros, and Kosar.
Last type of trains considered as excellent choices in terms of speed and price are bus trains; however, they do not provide considerable facilities and/or private space; and, they are not suggested for long distance trips. From among bus trains for you who are interested in traveling Iran by train, reference can be made to Pardis and Saba trains, creating you a different and enjoyable experience.
Which cities can be traveled to with train?
Currently, near 13000km of railroad is available in Iran, through which many of provinces are connected to each other. Till present time, some parts of following provinces have not been connected to railway network: Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiloyeh and Boyerahmad, Kordistan, Ardabil, South and North Khorasan. However, some measures have been planned to be taken in this respect.
Most of railways in the country pass through Tehran and those interested in traveling Iran by train are provided with more than 30 lines to be transferred between Tehran and different cities. After Tehran, most rail traffic can be found in Mashhad that has railway connection to more than 20 cities.
From among other railway lines reference can be made to Khoramshahr-Ahwaz, Yazd-Bandar Abbas, Tabriz-Tarbiat Moalem, Andimeshk-Ahawaz, Isfahan-Bandarabbas, Andimeshk-Dorood, Karadj-Tabriz, Gorgan-Polsefid, Dorood-Chamangsar, Shiraz-Isfahan, Dorood-Sefiddasht, Yazd-Kerman, Tabriz-Jolfa, and Karoon-Bandar Mahshahr.
Tehran-Tabriz-Van is the only passenger train newly beginning its operating to the aim of facilitating Iran and global tourism for those interested; and, the ticket can be easily purchased from travel agencies. Since making access to these types of railway lines is difficult for travelers from overseas, Vacation to Iran website provides you with related services; and, precise list of railway lines available in Iran can be obtained from its website so that traveling difficulty would be minimized. You can also receive your information requested through your calls, in English language.
Train ticket reservation method for travelers
To book ticket for traveling Iran by train, there are different methods available for travelers and the simplest and most appropriate one is referring to travel agencies and ticket sales systems whether in person or online so that your requested ticket would be issued.
Tickets are issued upon ID card information such as name and family name, national identity code, and date of birth; and, they have to be used just by the same person. For simplicity reasons and also increase of speed, the QR code on ticket would be scanned by the person in charge within a moment for authentication purposes.
To receive the ticket, you have to just refer to Raja Railway Transport Co. and/or reliable websites. After registration and becoming a member, you can enter “ticket purchase” section. Then selecting your points of origin and destination, date of departure and return, and number of tickets you want to buy your ticket. To pay for the ticket, you will be connected to the bank portal and only with one credit card being a member of SHETAB system (interbank card switch) and using your second password; payment would be done during several minutes. To cancel the ticket and receive refund, the same procedure has to be taken.
However, for many people who prefer to buy their tickets in person, there are centers selling train ticket all around the country. For traveling Iran by train, ticket would be sold with similar price in all of these centers.
Travel agencies- one of facilitating centers for traveling Iran by train
Due to economic sanctions and Visa and Master Cards and/or any other card with similar nature having no function in Iran; surely referring to reliable travel agencies for foreign tourists is a good choice to buy train ticket. Vacation to in Iran is one of the websites easily solving the problem for you. Visiting the website, you can be aware of price changes and buy best ticket according to the last time schedule.
It has to be noted that for some railway lines, there are various trains available; and, they are different in terms of speed and number of stations they stop in. For example, Tehran-Mashhad trains reach destination in 8, 10, and/or 12 hours, respectively. You have to plan your travel beforehand, upon desirable time schedule.
This has to be noticed that if you are interested in traveling Iran by train, you have to take time table of the paths into consideration. In many railway lines you have different choices available; however, in some other you have to select from among limited number of options.
For example, for a crowded path such as Tehran-Mashhad, almost round-trip tickets are available for every hour during day and night; however, in such lines as Tehran-Zahedan, only one train departs from Tehran and one departs from Zahedan, respectively at 11a.m. and 14p.m. In Tehran-Rasht line, there are two choices of departure from Tehran at 8a.m. and 3a.m. and departure from Rasht at 15 and 17p.m. This has to be noted that train ticket prices are not fixed and to buy thicket with the most appropriate price, you have to gain enough information from travel agencies.
One of the best references as for receiving complete and precise information in relation to departure time of trains and their price is vacation to Iran website – http://vacationtoiran.com, with many years of experience in rendering services to passengers and tourists from inside and outside the country, and having high reputation. Travelers can call us for traveling Iran by train to receive services due, from this website.
Vacationtoiran.com can provide you with the best train tickets with the lowest price and it will guide you through the best travel solutions in Iran. The site offers other services such as bus and plane ticketing for domestic flights as well as booking services for the best hotels in Iran at affordable prices.
If you are interested in travel to Iran and like to see different cities in your travel time, we suggest you to experience the Iran trains for its highly advanced features and very low prices compare with other countries.