Train to Tehran

After dinner we went through security to get into the departure hall at Mashhad railway station to wait for the overnight train to Tehran. A scheduled 12 hour journey. The bad news was that the original booking we had for 20.00 had been arbitrarily replaced by another at 23.00. Although we had 1st class tickets and there were only 4 of us to a compartment, the train we boarded was filthy and decrepit. Broken air-con, dusty and torn upholstery, and stained toilets that looked as if they had not had a decent clean for years. Whether any other trains in Iran are any better, I know not - I have to judge them by what we experienced.

Chris found the challenge of changing for bed to be "difficult". Stuart was unwilling to take a top bunk, so it fell on Maire and I to climb up the rickety ladder to our eyries Still having retired at midnight, I soon fell asleep and did not wake till after 7am in the morning. Nobody really felt like breakfast on the train, so we passed that and waited till arrival at Tehran around 11 am.

Although the train left much (well an awful lot) to be desired, the experience of the wait at Mashhad, the real world of Iranian trains and arrival at Tehran station, made, for me the journey worth while. We really saw the average persons life in Iran.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to get a larger photo

When I awoke the landscape was desert with a range of hills to the north, and it really continued like that till we arrived in Tehran. In spite of being a large city, the train seemed to move from desert to terminus quite quickly

On to Tehran

Silk Route Holiday 2013