Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Company (TUSRC) is planning to build six more lines for Tehran’s metro network.

The six new routes are lines 8 and 9 and four new express lines that will connect Tehran to satellite cities. TUSRC opened its first express route, the 42-kilometre line 5 serving Karaj to the west of Tehran in 1999.

“After this [Tehran’s current metro expansion] is finished, we will have lines 8 and 9. This is not designed, it is under planning. And another four lines [express] that go to satellite cities. One is already done – line 5 is 42-kilometre expressway from Tehran to Karaj,” says Mohsen Hashemi, chairman of the TUSRC.

TUSRC has not yet determined its budget for the six new lines.

Tehran metro lines
Line number Length Status
1 29 km Complete
2 20.4 km Complete
3 35 km Under construction
4 20 km Under construction
5 (Express line) 42 km Complete
6 30km Under construction
7 27km Under construction
8 tbc Planned
9 tbc Planned
Express line 1 tbc Planned
Express line 2 tbc Planned
Express line 3 tbc Planned
Express line 4 tbc Planned
tbc = to be confirmed; Source: Tehran Urban & Suburban Railway Company

The rail company is already spending $10bn on four new lines, 3, 4, 6 and 7, that are currently under construction. TUSRC aims to start construction on the six planned lines in 2018 when it finishes work on lines 3, 4, 6 and 7.

The most advanced of the four routes under construction is line 4, which runs east to west linking Azadi Square, Enqelab Square and Ferdowsi Square. It comprises 20km of track and 19 stations. It will be fully operational when the third and final phase is completed in 2011. The 7km first phase is already running and the second phase will be opened in two months time.

This will be followed by line 3, which is 35km long and runs east to west across Tehran. The 6km first phase of line 3 is scheduled to open in 2012 and the entire line will be finished by 2018.

The local Rail Transportation Industry Company won the construction contract for line 3 and 4 in 2004.

The local Sepasad Engineering Company is carrying out the construction of line 7, which runs from Velenjak through Shahrak-e Qods to Afsareh. Line 7 comprises 27km of track and 25 stations. It is being carried out on an engineering, procurement, construction and finance basis.

The local Pajoohesh Consulting Engineers carried out the design of line 7.

Line 6 runs from Sadeghi Square to Azadegan Highway and involves the construction of 30km of track and 27 stations. The local Ahab Construction Company is the contractor. It is currently working on the above ground civil works before construction of the tunnel starts in December 2010.

The design for line 6 was prepared by the local Geno Consulting Engineers.

Lines 6 and 7 will be carried out in phases, with the first phase scheduled to begin operating in 2013. The second phase will be ready in 2015, and both lines will be fully operational in 2018.

The majority of assembly work and provision of rolling stock for all four lines will be done locally in Iran.

Of the $10bn budget for the four lines under way, 50 per cent is being funded by the government and 50 per cent is from Tehran Municipality. The TUSRC will receive about $1.5bn each year for funding the project until it is complete by 2018.

France’s Systra assisted the TUSRC with the initial planning of the metro expansion.

Tehran has a population of about 12 million people and the existing metro network cannot cope with growing demand.

The expansion plans for the Tehran metro network also aim to tackle the problem of congestion and the pollution created by cars in the city. Air pollution is a major issue in Tehran because smog is trapped over the city by the Alborz mountains to the north.