Iran’s national railway was registered after a long discussion between proponents and opponents at the 44th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. As reported by aria Heritage, the 44th meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which was hosted by China (the country where the first signs of the spread of the coronavirus were observed) after a one-year cancelation due to the pandemic, was held to review Iran’s national railway case, which was finally approved for inclusion in the list of human heritage.
Compilation of the file for registration of the national railway extending from the north to the south of Iran started in the year 1397 (official solar calendar). The start of the construction of the Iranian railway was approved in 1305 AH, and a year later, Iranian, German, and American engineers began the construction of this 1394 km route. Construction of Iran’s national railway started at the Bandar Torkaman in the north and reached Imam Khomeini port in the south. Iran’s national railway is important in terms of technique and quality of construction and tourism and having unique natural landscapes and attractions in the world.
Though the history of construction and successful operation of the first railway in Iran dates back to the Qajar period, in 1227 solar (1848 AD) from Rasht to Pirbazar and Anzali port, the remains of which can be seen on the way from Rasht to Pirbazar, in the ports’ administrative building, but the full realization of this national project took 79 years, until 1306 solar. In 1306, a mapping contract for construction of this railway line was signed with a consortium consisting of the American company Yulen and the German companies Philipp Holzmann – Julius Berger and Siemens Bavavanion at a maximum price of 368 Tomans per kilometer.
Full operation of Iran’s national railway began in 1314 solar, and on Amordad 12, 1314, Ali Mansour, the then Minister of Roads and Urban Development, got the approval for establishment of the State Railway Institute from the National Assembly. This Institute would be given the responsibility of maintaining and utilizing all property, furniture, buildings, vehicles and technical buildings belonging to the railway and shipping lines of Lake Urumia.
The UNESCO file for world registration of the north-south railway was classified into 8 areas with common climatic characteristics within each area and different from other areas, and 89 chosen stations were studied and documented due to their historical and functional importance.
This route starts from Bandar Torkaman at its northernmost point, reaches Imam Khomeini port at its southernmost point, and passes through major stations such as Ghaemshahr, Gaduk, Garmsar, Tehran, Arak, Daroud, Shahbazan, and Andimeshk in the middle of the road.
The national railway of Iran has been registered as the first industrial heritage and the twenty-fifth material cultural heritage of our country. The World Heritage Committee is scheduled to review another case of our country, the “Oramanat Cultural Landscape” (Huraman), for world registration at the meeting on July 27.