Perhaps one of Iran’s greatest achievements after the First World War was the construction of the 850-mile Trans-National railroad. This finally linked southern and northern Iran, a project that had been bitterly opposed by Imperial Russia in the early 20th century. For the first time the northern agricultural lands and the Caspian Sea ports were linked to ports and oilfields in the south. Construction of the Iranian railway had been an overwhelming task as it required the building of 4,100 bridges and 224 bored tunnels (64 miles in total). Iran’s economy after the First World had been in tatters, especially with increasing chaos due to British, Russian and Ottoman military incursions. Even more impressive was the way in the which the project had been funded: taxes on sugar and tea helped subsidize the project.
Undated photo of the opening ceremony of the Tehran-Masjid Suleiman railway line (Source: Iranvij)
The buildup of the Iranian railway and road systems resulted in a dramatic improvement in the economic sector. Cost and time required for the transportation of goods across the country were now dramatically reduced. As noted by the British Central Office of Information:
“…the Persian people had every reason to be proud of it