By: Mir M.Hosseini
Trans-Iranian railway had always been a dream for all Iranians. Despite many attempts, the only finished project was an eight km railroad that connected Tehran to Rhagae in 1882. Iran neither had the technology nor the money to complete such a great task. But when the League of Nations sent a commission to Iran to investigate the opium traffic, they were convinced that supporting the railway project would ease flow of agricultural products and help the economy; thus eliminating the poppy traffic. No foreign country was to own any part of this line, no foreign loans were to be accepted.
American and German firms officially began the line during a ceremony on Oct, 16,1927 at Tehran station. The construction started simultaneously at three points in north, south and center. A bill had passed the parliament on May, 30, 1925 to cover an estimated $125,000,000 cost by import taxes on sugar and tea. 45,000 Iranian and 5,000 foreign workers worked day and night to complete the 788 km state of the art Trans-Iranian railroad, a winding, climbing engineering masterpiece through the Alborz Mountains that connected Bandar Shah in Persian Gulf to Bandar Shapour in Caspian sea. Unfortunately the main contractors quit the job in 1933; leaving it to the Danish and Swedish companies to complete the project in Aug, 18, 1938. The famous railroad was inaugurated during a great ceremony on Aug, 25, 1938. Reza Shah took a ride in his gold, silver & rosewood private car.
In the 21st century, there are some estimated 10,000,000 Iranian drug addicts and Iran remains the main route for drug smugglers.