Tehran Metro

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Tehran Metro
Tehran Metro Logo.svg
Owner Tehran Urban and Suburban Railway Company
Locale Tehran,  Iran
Transit type Rapid transit (Lines 1-4)
Regional rail (Line 5)
Number of lines 5
Number of stations 69
Daily ridership 2 million (January 2011)[1]
Annual ridership 480.1 million (2011)[2]
Began operation 1999
System length 74.5 km (46.3 mi)[citation needed]
(Rapid Transit/Metro)
41.5 km (25.8 mi)[3]
(Regional Rail)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

The Tehran Metro is a rapid transit system serving Tehran, the capital of Iran. The system consists of four operational lines, with construction begun on a further two lines in 2007.

The line uses standard gauge and is partly underground. Ticket price is 4500 IRR for each journey (about USD 0.20), regardless of the distance travelled. Seniors may travel for free on the metro. On all Tehran metro trains the first, half of the second, last, and half of the next-to-last carriages are reserved for women who do not wish to ride with men in the same car. Women can still ride other cars freely.[4][5]

The Tehran Metro carries more than 2 million passengers a day.[6] In 2010, 480 million trips were made on Tehran Metro.


Tehran Subway arriving into Vali-e-asr station.
CRV Type DKZ2 Cars in the Tehran Metro
CRV Type DKZ3 Cars in the Tehran Metro

The initial plans of the Tehran Metro, which was to be Iran's first metro system, were laid out before the Iranian revolution in the 1970s. In 1970 the Plan and Budget Organization and the Municipality of Tehran announced an international tender for construction of a metro in Tehran. The French company SOFRETU, affiliated with the state-owned Paris transportation authority RATP, won the tender and in the same year began to conduct preliminary studies on the project. In 1974 a final report with a so-called "street-metro" proposal was tendered. The street-metro system recommended a road network with a loop express way in the central area and two highways for new urban areas and a 8-line metro network which were complemented by bus network and taxi services. Geological surveys commenced in 1976. In 1978 construction on the line was started in northern Tehran by the French company, however this development was short-lived with the advent of the Iranian Revolution and Iran–Iraq War in 1979 and 1980 respectively. SOFRETU ceased operations in Iran in December 1980. On March 3, 1982, the Iranian Cabinet ministers formally announced the stop of Tehran Metro operations by the French company.

In 1985, the "Tehran Metro Execution Plan" was re-approved by the Majles, the Iranian Parliament, on the basis of legal project of "Amendment of Law of Establishment of Tehran Urban and suburban Railway Company" which had been founded on Farvardin 1364 (April 1985). This was a literal continuation of exactly the same project that had been laid out before the revolution. Work proceeded slowly due to the continuing Iran–Iraq War and often ground to a halt.


By the summer of 1985, urban pressure from the rapidly urbanising population, and lack of developed public transport system prompted the work to be resumed in earnest. "Line 1" (From Blvd. Shahid Ayatollah Haghani to City of Rey) and its extension to Behesht-e-Zahra Cemetery was made a priority. "Line 2" (From Dardasht in Tehran Pars district to Sadeghiyeh Second Square) and an extending towards the City of Karaj and Mehrshahr district was also made a secondary priority. Studies were also made to establish the previously designed Lines 3 and 4. It was decided that an organisation by the name of the Metro Company should be established in order to handle the future development of the system.

Following this phase, the Metro Company was managed by Asghar Ebrahimi Asl for eleven years. During this time, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on the system and the Metro Company was given government concessions for the exploitation of iron ore mines in Bandar Abbas (Hormuzgan Province), exploitation and sale of Moghan Diotomite mine in Azarbaijan Province, export of refinery residues from Isfahan oil refinery as well as tar from Isfahan steel mill [2]. The year after Asghar Ebrahimi Asl left the management of the Metro Company and Mohsen Hashemi succeeded him, the first line of the Tehran Metro was launched between Tehran and Karaj.

On 7 March 1999, an overland Tehran-Karaj express electric train started a limited service of 31.4 km (19.5 mi) between Azadi Square (Tehran) and Malard (Karaj) calling at one intermediate station at Vardavard. The line was constructed by the Chinese company NORINCO.

Line 5 of the Tehran metro began operating in 1999 and was Iran's first metro system.

Golshahr {Line 5} rapid transit line stations.

From 2000 onwards, commercial operation began on Lines 1 and 2. The wagons on these lines are provided by CRV via CNTIC. The railway tracks and points on these lines are provided by the Austrian company Voestalpine.

The Metro uses equipment manufactured by a wide range of international companies: Double-deck passenger cars for the Tehran-Karaj commuter line are supplied by CRV (although some trains are from SEGC) via CNTIC and assembled by the Wagon Pars factory in Arak.

As of 2010 approximately $2 billion has been spent on the Metro project. The Tehran Metro transports about 2.5 million passengers daily[7] through its 4 operational lines (1, 2, 4, 5) with two lines (1 and 4) are still being developed by Tehran Metro Company with another two lines (Lines 3, 7) under construction and the other two (Lines 6 and 8) in engineering phase. New 80 wagons have been added to the system in September 2012 to ease transportation and reduce rush-hour congestion. Iran is able to produce its need in wagons and trains independently.[8]

The lines[edit]

Line 1[edit]

The line, coloured red on system maps, is 28.1 km (17.5 mi) long, of which 14.9 km (9.3 mi) are underground (from Tajrish station to Shoush-Khayyam crossing) and the rest runs at surface level. The number of stations along this line is 26 of which 18 stations are located underground and 8 above ground. As of 2005, the total capacity of line 1 is 650,000 passenger per day, with trains stopping at each station for 20–30 seconds. The trains are each made up of seven wagons, with a nominal capacity of 1,300 seated and standing passengers. The maximum speed of the trains is 80 km (50 mi) per hour which will be tempered to an average of 45 km (28 mi) per hour due to stoppages at stations along the route.

Line 1 runs mostly north-south. Extension of the line from Mirdamad station to Qolhak station 4.1 km (2.5 mi), and three stations opened on May 20, 2009. The second phase of this extension Qolhak station to Tajrish Square 4 km (2.5 mi) and 4 stations, completed in 2011. Construction was to be completed by March 2007 but has faced major issues due to large boulders and rock bed in part of the tunnels and water drain issues. It has also faced major financing issues as the government has refused to release funds earmarked for the project to the municipality.

Line 2[edit]

This line, which opened between Sadeghieh and Imam Khomeini in February 2000,[9] is 20.4 km (12.7 mi) long, with 19 km (12 mi) as a subway and 1.4 km (0.87 mi) elevated. There are 19 stations along this line, of which Imam Khomeini Station is shared by Line 1. Line 2 is coloured blue on system maps and runs mostly east-west through the city.

The line was extended from Imam-Khomeini to Baharestan Metro Station in 2004, and to Shahid Madani, Sarsabz and Elm-o-Sanat University in March 2006 with the intermediate stations, Darvazeh Shemiran and Sabalan, opening in July 2006.[9] It was extended further from Elm-o-Sanat University to Tehran Pars in February 2009, and to Farhangsara in June 2010.[9]

Line 3[edit]

Its direction goes from northeast to southwest with plans for this line to be extended above ground to Imam Khomeini International Airport. Line 3 is one of the most important lines as it connects southwest Tehran to northeast, crosses busy parts of the capital city and can alleviate traffic problems. The line should become fully operational in 2 years. About 7 km (4.3 mi) is finished by 2012 followed by 12 km (7.5 mi) in 2013 and 16 km (9.9 mi) in 2013.[10]

Line 4[edit]

The line will be 20 km (12 mi) long with 22 stations and one terminal. Section 1, from Ferdowsi Square to Darvazeh Shemiran, opened in March 2007. Section 2 from Darvazeh shemiran to Shohada Square opened in February 2009. On May 24, 2009, Section 3 from Ferdowsi Square to Engelab Square opened. On July 23, 2012 two more stations were inaugurated, connecting line 4 with line 5.[11]

Currently there are 13 stations in operation on Line 4, coloured yellow on the system maps.[10][12]

Line 5[edit]

Line 5 is coloured green on system maps; it is a 41.5 km (25.8 mi) long commuter rail line and has seven stations. Entering the area of Karaj with main stations at Bonyad-e Rang, Karaj and Mehrshahr. It connects with the western end of Line 2 at Tehran (Sadeghiyeh) station.

Line 6[edit]

This line is under construction.

Line 7[edit]

This line, in contrast with line 3, goes from northwest to southeast and is under construction with 2 recently bought modern TBM machines.

The intersection stations[edit]

  • Darvazeh Shemiran station; Lines 2 and 4
  • Shahid Beheshti station; Lines 1 and 3
  • Darvazeh Dowlat; Lines 1 and 4
  • Emam Khomeyni; Lines 1 and 2
  • Vali Asr station; Lines 3 and 4
  • Daneshgah‐e Emam Ali station; Lines 2 and 3
  • Azadi station; Lines 2 and 4
  • Sadeghiyeh; Lines 2 and 5, and
  • Ekbatan (Eram Sabz); Lines 4 and 5.

Art in the Tehran Metro[edit]

Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani in one of the passenger cars of the Tehran Metro

A combination of modern art and traditional Persian art is prominent in every station of the Tehran Metro.


All routes have been equipped with automatic train protection (ATP), automatic train stop (ATS), centralized traffic control (CTC), and SCADA. More and more residents use the metro due to the improvement in the peak-hour headways, the opening of more stations and overall improvement with new escalators, elevators, and air-conditioning in the trains.

  • On 18 July 2007, a twenty square metres area immediately adjacent to the entrance of the Toupkhaneh metro station caved in. There were no casualties, but the station had to undergo numerous repairs.
  • On 15 April 2012, safety walls of Mianrood River broke due to heavy rain in Tehran, and consequently 300,000 cubic meters of water entered metro tunnel of Line 4. The two nearest stations were still under construction, so Metro operators had enough time to evacuate other stations from passengers. Nobody was killed, but water depth in the Habib-o-llah station, the deepest station on Line 4, was estimated to be near 18 meters. It took nearly two weeks to reopen the flooded stations which were previously in operation.[13]

Cultural damage[edit]

The Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran has complained that the vibrations caused by the Metro were having a significant and highly adverse effect on the Masudieh Palace in the Baharestan neighbourhood of central Tehran [3]. The Cultural Heritage Organisation has also complained about vibrations near other historic sites such as the Golestan Palace and the National Museum of Iran. However, engineers and technical experts believe that it is the noise that induces the false sense of vibration and like many metro systems in large cities, no untoward impact is probable.

Metro systems in other cities of Iran[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]