Tehran Metro

28 October 2013

Funding constraints mean metro expansion could be delayed

Value: $10bn


Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Company

Tel: (+98) 21 6674 7500

Web: metro.tehran.ir


Pajoosh Consulting Engineers

Tel: (+98) 21 2290 1851

The Iranian authorities are desperately seeking to expand the Tehran metro, despite labouring under international sanctions that restrict the country from accessing finance and key technologies.

Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Company (TUSRC) has a mission to tackle the road congestion and pollution plaguing the capital, but is struggling to underwrite the massive sums needed to realise its ambitions.

The original plans for the metro were gargantuan in scale, with 430 kilometres of metro lines, 256 stations and a price tag of $18bn. TUSRC has since scaled back its ambitions for the metro, with approvals now for only 261km of track and 175 stations, bringing the cost down to a still high $10bn.

The first line of the Tehran Metro network was up and running in 2000, and four lines are now operational.

Phase two of the metro expansion was due to have been completed in 2013. However, Mohammad Montazeri, deputy managing director of planning and logistics at TUSRC, told journalists at MEED’s Rail Projects Conference in October 2012 that two new lines under the third phase may be delayed due to a lack of money.

The Tehran authorities were hoping China would fund up to $2bn to complete the project, but there has been no reported progress on the financing since then.

The two expansions under phase three are Lines 6 and 7. Line 7 will stretch 30km with 25 stations, from Velenjak through Shahrak-e Qods to Afsareh.

The main contractors are the local Khatam al-Anbiya (a company linked to the Revolutionary Guards) and Sepasad Engineering Company.

Work includes the construction of 30km of track, new tunnels, stations, rolling stock and control systems.

Line 6 runs from Sadeghi Square to Azadegan Highway and will also require 30km of track, new tunnels, stations, rolling stock and control systems.

Lines 6 and 7 are estimated to cost $8bn in total, with the original contract completion expected by the fourth quarter of 2015. However, given the project’s funding constraints, this may prove an ambitious target to achieve.

Key dates

2000: Tehran Metro starts operations

2004: China’s Norinco signs $680m contact to build Line 4

2008: Iran seeks $4bn private sector investment to assist metro construction

2013: Original completion date for phase two expansion

2015: Target date for completion of phase three expansion

Source: MEED

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