Transport in Iran
Major routes and railways of Iran
Transport in Iran is inexpensive because of the government's subsidization of the price of gasoline. The downside is a huge draw on government coffers, economic inefficiency because of highly wasteful consumption patterns, contraband with neighboring countries and air pollution. In 2008, more than one million people worked in the transportation sector, accounting for 9% of GDP.
Iran has a long paved road system linking most of its towns and all of its cities. In 2011 the country had 173,000 kilometres (107,000 mi) of roads, of which 73% were paved. In 2008 there were nearly 100 passenger cars for every 1,000 inhabitants.
Trains operated on 11,106 km (6,942 mi) of railroad track. The country’s major port of entry is Bandar-Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz. After arriving in Iran, imported goods are distributed throughout the country by trucks and freight trains. The Tehran-Bandar-Abbas railroad, opened in 1995, connects Bandar-Abbas to the railroad system of Central Asia via Tehran andc Mashhad. Other major ports include Bandar e-Anzali and Bandar e-Torkeman on the Caspian Sea and Khorramshahr and Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni on the Persian Gulf.
Dozens of cities have airports that serve passenger and cargo planes. Iran Air, the national airline, was founded in 1962 and operates domestic and international flights. All large cities have mass transit systems using buses, and several private companies provide bus service between cities. Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Ahwaz and Esfahan are in the process of constructing underground mass transit rail lines.
Ministry of Road and Transportation
The Ministry of Roads and Transportation is in charge of studying and deciding pricing policy of the transportation; as well as issuing licenses for the establishment of transportation firms. In addition, the Ministry is in charge of implementing comprehensive and integrated transportation policies in Iran.
Railway system map (09-2006)
Total: 11,106 km
Standard gauge: 8,273 km of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge (146 km electrified) (2006)
Broad gauge: 94 km of 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) gauge (connected to Pakistan Railways)
Electrified railway is 146 km from Tabriz to Jolfa and the tender for electrification of Tehran- Mashhad has been finished according to Railway electrification in Iran. Note: Broad-gauge track is employed at the borders with Azerbaijan Republic and Turkmenistan which have 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) broad gauge rail systems; 41 km of the standard gauge, electrified track is in suburban service at Tehran (2007).
The majority of transportation in Iran is road-based. The government plans to transport 3.5% of the passenger volume and 8.5% of the freight volume by rail. Extensive electrification is planned. The railway network expands by about 500 km per year according to the Ministry of R&T.
Railway links with adjacent countries
In December, 2014 a rail line from Iran opened to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. The opening of the line marks the first direct rail link between Iran, Kazakhstan and China and upon completion of the Marmaray rail project direct rail transport between China and Europe (while avoiding Russia) will be possible.
Afghanistan Afghanistan - planned
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan - break-of-gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)/1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) (Only to Nakhichevan, planned link to Azerbaijan proper for building Russia-Iran corridor)
Armenia Armenia - planned - break of gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)/1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in)
Iraq Iraq - part under construction, part planned.
one long link from Arak via Kermanshah to Baghdad
one short link of about 50 km links Khorramshahr to Basra and is due for completion in 2006.
Pakistan Pakistan - break-of-gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)/1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) - missing link from Bam to Zahedan completed 2009.
Turkey Turkey - via Lake Van - train ferry - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan - break-of-gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)/1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in)
Couplings, Brakes and Electrification
Couplers - SA3 and buffers
Brakes - air
Electrification - 25 kV AC
City with underground railway system:
Along with extension work on the Tehran Metro, six other metro projects are being built. In total, 172 extra kilometers will be built in Tehran between now and 2012 and over 380 kilometers in the other cities. All these work sites are going at present (2008).
Other cities with plans to construct a metro:
Mashhad Light Rail
Roadways and automobiles
Transportation in Iran is inexpensive because of the government's subsidization of gasoline
Iran ranks 23d worldwide in traffic deaths per 100,000 population per year, with a rate of 24.3, half the rate of the worst country, Eritrea. Iran ranks first worldwide in terms of having the largest number of road accidents with 38,000 deaths and injuries per year. Other sources place the total number of fatalities at 100,000 over the past 6 years or 20,000 per year on average (2008).
850 km (on Karun River; additional service on Lake Urmia) (2006)
Airports and airlines
Boeing 747SP at Narita International Airport
Iran’s airports are improving their international connections, and Arak Airport in Markazi province has recently begun to operate international flights, making a total of five such airports in the country, in addition to ten local airports. In May 2007 international flights into the capital, Tehran, were moved to the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), just outside the city because of capacity constraints at the existing central Mehrabad Airport.
Airports: 319 (2013)
There are 54 "major" airports in Iran (2008): 8 international, 21 air border, and 25 domestic.
Number of flights from airports nationwide reached 31,088 in a month (October 20-November 20, 2008): 10,510 domestic, 4,229 international and 15,404 transit.
Airport capacity for departures and arrivals: 73 million persons (2011)
Number of passengers departing and arriving at airports: 40.1 million persons (2011)
Share of non-public sector in domestic flights: 60% (2011)
Share of non-public sector in international flights: 58.7% (2011)