The Tehran Metro is the transportation system for the city of Tehran, the capital of Iran. It was founded on the year 2000, even though it was planned to be opened on a much earlier date. It has had a rapid growth. Thanks to this growth, the metro currently has 7 operational lines and a total of 106 stations. If the stations from the two suburban train lines are added, the number of stations reaches 117.
Throughout most of its journey, the metro travels through underground stations. If only the metro lines are considered, the total length of the service’s railway is of 162.4 kilometers. However, if the suburban lines are also considered, the railway’s length reaches 221 kilometers. The basic fare to access the metro is of 7000 Iranian Rials (0.21 USD,) although there are cheaper fares available. The system’s business hours are approximately between 5:30 in the morning and 11:00 at night.
Tehran is the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country located on the Asian continent. Tehran is the capital of the historic region of Persia, and it currently is a city that belongs to the country of Iran. This city, besides being the capital, is the most populous in the country, having over 8 million inhabitants.
Geographically, it is located at the bottom of the mountain range of Alborz. Due to its large population, size, and financial importance on the Islamic world, this city has become important for believers of the Shia branch of Islam.
The city underwent a remarkable growth after the oil boom, which made it possible to establish most of the Iranian industry on this region. These industries include the manufacturing of cars, electronics, chemical products, weapons, among others.
Tehran has most of Iran’s universities, as well as hosting most of the cultural and sports events in the country. The city is located at over 1000 meters above sea level on the valley of the Alborz mountain range, and it is also located on a semiarid geographical region. These factors influence on the city’s climate, which can reach extreme temperatures. Although the climate is mild on fall and on spring, it gets much hotter and drier during summer, and cold and humid during winter.
The Tehran Metro is the underground urban railway service that transports millions of people within the city of the same name. Currently, it has 106 stations and 7 lines. As a fun fact, the first line to be inaugurated was line 5 in 1999. Lines 1 and 2 did not start service until 2000.
There are different types of rolling stock on this system, since some lines have trains with 8 wagons each, while other lines have trains with less wagons. One of the companies in charge of the construction of the rolling stock was the Chinese company CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles. The Austrian company Voestalpine gave advice to Tehran with regards of the technology needed for the railway.
The first and last wagons for each train are for the exclusive use of women, although they could also use any other wagon within the trains. It is estimated that the number of daily passengers is of over 4.8 million, resulting in an annual ridership of 900 million passengers. The system is operated by the Tehran Urban and Suburban Railway Company (TUSRC,) which is owned by the city’s mayor.
This transportation system was planned for decades before being inaugurated. Before the triumph of the Islamic Revolution and Iran’s conversion into a theocracy, the metro was already in a planning phase.
The government of the city of Tehran included the metro in their plans of territorial organization and made a contest to choose the company that would build it. The winning company was the French subsidiary RATP. They decided to make a surface-level metro in the northern part of the city and began its construction. After the advent of the Iranian Revolution, the construction was stopped and the construction contract was given to RATP. In 1985, the construction project was approved, which included multiple expansions afterwards.
The construction lasted for over 11 years, with a budget of millions of American dollars that came from mining different minerals. It was not until 1999 that the first line of the metro, line 5, was inaugurated. Many people do not consider this date the official inauguration of the metro, since line 5 is a suburban train line.
On the year 2000, lines 1 and 2 were inaugurated, marking the beginning of the service of the Tehran Metro. From there, the entire construction process was greatly accelerated since a total of 7 metro lines were inaugurated on a relatively short time. Some stations are still under construction. The most recent line was inaugurated on 2017, which is an express line that goes to the Imam Khomeini International Airport.
The Tehran Metro is a big transportation network, and has become one of the largest means of transportation in the region. The entire railway network is 221 kilometers long. Most of its stations are underground, with the exception of some surface-level stations. These stations are not underground because they were among the first stations to be made for the first lines. The stations have different safety mechanics that allow journeys to be as optimal as possible. The Tehran Metro lines are the following:
It was the second line to be inaugurated for the Tehran Metro, opening to the public on the year 2000. Currently, its railway is 39 kilometers long, making it the longest line in the system. This is the only line where almost half of the journey is done at surface-level. This line is marked in red on the metro’s maps. Due to its many expansions, this line currently has 29 stations, in which 18 are underground and 11 are at surface-level. This line has 8 trains, which can reach a maximum speed of 80 km/h. The trains from line 1 are southbound. Its terminal stations are Tajrish and Kahrizak.
It was also inaugurated on the year 2000, and is marked in blue on the metro’s maps. The line’s trains drive eastward, until the reach the central station, at which they start driving southwards. Its terminal stations are Farhangsara and Tehran (Sadeghiyeh.) This line’s railway is 26 kilometers long, in which 19.6 kilometers of railway are located underground, while the remaining 6.4 kilometers are located at surface-level. It has a total of 22 stations. This line has had many expansions since its foundation, and there is another expansion currently under way.
It is distinguishable from the rest of the lines since it is marked in light blue on the Tehran Metro’s maps and blueprints. Its trains drive from the northeast to the southwest, travelling in a diagonal direction through the city of Tehran. Currently, it is the second longest line in the system due to its railway length of 37 kilometers. It has a total of 27 stations. It is one of the most important lines of the system, since it helps to significantly decrease the city’s traffic. Its terminal stations are Azadegan in the southwest, and the stations of Shahid Bahonar and Ghaem in the northeast.
With 22 kilometers of railway and 14 stations, line 4 is another route for the Tehran Metro. It is marked in yellow on the metro’s maps, and its trains drive from the east to the west. It is located below line 2. On the east, its terminal station is Shahid Kolandooz, while on the west, it has three terminal stations, which are located after a crossroads after Bimeh. The first of these terminal stations is Eram-e-Sabze, which is located on the north branch of the crossroads, and it is connected to line 5. The second and third of these terminal stations are located at terminals at the Mehrabad airport, which are located on the southern branch of the crossroads.
This was the first line to be inaugurated of the Tehran Metro. The trains from this line have similar characteristics to the suburban trains. Therefore, its trains make a rather long journey, travelling a total distance of 43 kilometers. It has a total number of 11 stations. The line starts at the Tehran terminal station (Sadeghiyeh,) which is one of the most important stations of the system. The trains from this station travel westwards. Its second terminal station is Golsharhr, which is located on the outskirts of Karaj, the city with the fourth largest population in Iran. This line is green on the metro’s maps.
Marked in pink on the maps, this is a line that is still under construction. It will be a large scale line, since it will have a railway of 38 kilometers in length and 30 stations. The line’s railroad will cross the city starting from the northwest, and ending at the southeast. On the northwest, it will have a terminal station in Sulaghan. Meanwhile, on the southeast, it will have a terminal station on Hazrat-e Abdol Azim.
It is the most recently inaugurated line from the Tehran Metro, opening on June, 2017. On the maps, this line is marked in purple. It starts on the southeast at the Varzeshgah-e Takhti station, and ends at northern Tehran at the Yadegar-e Emam station. The total length of this line’s railway currently is 22 kilometers. Soon, the rest of the line will be inaugurated, expanding its current railway to have a total of 35 kilometers in length, and with a total number of 27 stations. This line will offer the longest underground journey on the metro. It will also be the deepest journey on the metro, since its railroads are located 56 meters underground.
Inaugurated on 2016, this is a modern line that is located on the southern region of the city of Tehran. It starts at Shahed station, which offers connections to line 1, and ends at Shahre-e Parand. The total railway length of the line is of 32 kilometers, which will increase to 50 kilometers once the expansion under way is finished. The most important feature of this line is that its trains reach the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. This is an airport that has been recently inaugurated in Tehran and that has become the most important airport in the city, especially for international flights. This is the only Tehran Metro line that offers transportation towards the airport that also does not close. Among the special features of this line is its modernity, since its trains can reach a maximum speed of 120 km/h.
Tehran is the capital of a great power, and there are over 8 million inhabitants living on this city. Although the Tehran Metro will keep growing at a steady pace, the rest of the public transportation systems at surface-level will always be important, since they offer transportation throughout the entire city. A lot has been said about the excess of cars in Tehran. The city has an estimate of over 5 million cars, even though the city’s capacity is of 700 thousand cars. For this reason, all kinds of public transportation systems are used.
As always, buses are one of the most important means of transportation. Since the decade of the 1920s, buses have been used on the Iranian capital. There are hundreds of bus routes, and most of them stop at metro stations during their journeys. The bus tickets cost just a few American dollar cents. Regular buses are spread throughout most of the city, and represent a transportation solution for millions of people. Also, there are other two other surface-level means of transportation.
One of these means of transportation is the trolley bus system. This system was inaugurated on 1992, but lost popularity and was closed down. However, it was recently reopened, with a single route between Meydane-Khorasan (Khorasan Plaza) and Bozorgrah-e-Be’sat. It stopped having a direct connection with the metro after it was closed down, but there are many nearby stations to the trolley bus station.
The other big transportation system is the Tehran Bus Rapid Transit (BRT,) which are buses that travel within exclusive lanes and, therefore, do not find any kind of traffic. Compared to trolleybuses, this transportation system is much bigger due to its network that covers a distance of over 100 kilometers, comprised of 10 lines. Throughout the journey of the BRT buses, these buses have many connections close to Tehran Metro stations.
The Rahahan station in line 3 connects to the Tehran Metro with the big train station in the city. From this station, long distance trains can be boarded. Also, connections to the BRT buses are available. All of the long distance trains are managed by the Islamic Public of Iran Railways. From Rahahan station, a train can be taken to travel to the south of the country to cities such as Bander Abbas.
Due to its dimensions, the city of Tehran receives flights from two airports. Historically, the city had a single airport, which was the Mehrabad International Airport (THR). Until 2007, this was the most important airport in the country due to its number of domestic and international flights. However, after the inauguration of the Khomeini Airport, Mehrabad airport is now mostly dedicated to domestic flights. Reaching the Mehrabad airport is simple, since there are two stations in which the metro stops within the airport. There are two stations on one end of line 4: one station that stops at terminals 1 and 2 at the airport, and another station that stops at terminals 3 and 4.
The other big airport in the city, which has larger dimensions than the Mehrabad airport, is the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA). It is located 30 kilometers to the southwest of the city of Tehran. Since its recent inauguration in 2004, this airport has achieved getting all international flights coming from Asia and Europe. Currently, this airport has one terminal, but there are two additional terminals under construction. Reaching this airport via metro is really easy, since one of the recently built lines was made with the specific purpose of reaching it. This line is line 8, which is the fastest line in the system, and works 24 hours. To reach the airport, you only need to board line 8, and then get off at Shahr-e Forudgahi-e Imam Khomeini.
The Tehran Metro has a quite strict schedule, with business hours that do not vary much among its lines. In line 1’s case, it begins service at 5:30 am and ends service at 10:30 pm. The journey from end to end lasts 69 minutes. Meanwhile, the journey in line 2 from end to end lasts 47 minutes, beginning service at 5:30 am and closing down at 10:30 pm.
Line 4, marked in yellow, has trains that complete their journey between the terminals stations in 40 minutes. This line also opens at 5:30 am and closes at 10:30 pm. Line 5, a suburban train line, has trains that make their journey from end to end in 52 minutes. Its operations begin at 5:30 am, while it closes at 11:05 pm.
The final line is line 8. Since it connects the entire city to the Imam Khomeini International Airport, it does not have an opening nor a closing time. It is open 24 hours.
There are two notable payment options to access the Tehran Metro. The first one is the purchase of the Stored Value Cards, which is a very practical option for frequent travelers. These cards have a fixed amount of money and, after each use, the trips’ fares will be deducted. Once a trip ends, the card will deduct the amount according to the distance traveled by the user at the platform’s exit. One of the biggest advantages of using these cards is that they can also be used in buses, as well as all of the city’s BRT network. This card has a price of 5000 Rials (0.15 USD.) The price for these tickets varies according to the distance traveled. The fares are the following:
Another option to access the Tehran Metro is via magnetic tickets, which offer an unlimited number of trips. Currently, there are only two tickets of this kind. The first ticket offers only a single ride. These tickets have a QR code and are blue. Their cost are of 7000 Rials (0.21 USD.) Meanwhile, the round trip ticket is orange, and also has a QR code. The cost for this ticket is of 11000 Rials (0.33 USD.)
Even though the Tehran Metro is less than two decades old, the way in which it has been expanded is quite important. Its rapid expansion has been unstoppable and, currently, there are many other lines and stations under construction. The most important line under construction is line 6, which has not yet been inaugurated, but will have a railway of great length. Line 9 is under discussion by a committee that was assigned in order to construct this line.
However, most of the current lines are under the process of expansion. In line 2’s case, research is being done to extend it towards the city of Pardis. Line 3 will be expanded at its terminal stations, in which additional railway will be added towards the southeast and the northwest. Also, the recently built line 8 will be constructed in three phases. Finally, there are projects of other express lines that will connect Tehran with other nearby urban centers.
Iran is a very attractive country with regards of tourism, and Teheran, its capital, is a very organized city. This city has some bucolic settings. Some of the places that can be visited via the Teheran Metro are the following:
The National Jewelry Treasury: All of the jewelry patrimony belonging to the Iranian State can be observed in this museum. This patrimony previously belonged to the royal family of Iran, being passed down throughout 200 years of history. To reach this place, Sa’adi Station from line 1 can be used.
Golestan Palace: This palace can be accessed after exiting Panzdah-e Khordad station from line 1, and walking a block. These facilities are part of a palace complex where the members of the monarchy from the Kayar dynasty lived, before the Reza Pahlavi took over. Its architecture is too beautiful to describe, and has been declared by the UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Tajrish Bazaar: It is needed to go to a bazaar in order to enjoy the Iranian gastronomy, and the one in Tajrish is ideal due to its variety and its traditional dishes. To reach it, line 1 will need to be used. You will need to disembark at Tajrish station.
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