Map of Mashhad Urban Rail network in Mashhad, Iran.
Khayam Metro station on Mashhad Light Rail Line 1.
Line 1 of the Mashhad Light Rail system includes 24 stations.
Light rail vehicles on Mashhad Metro can run at maximum operating speeds of 70km/h.

Mashhad Metro is a light rail system operating in the holy city of Mashhad, in the Razavi Khorasan province of Iran. Operated by Mashhad Urban Railway, the project is also referred to as Mashhad Light Rail and Mashhad Urban Rail.

The city of Mashhad is spread over 270km² and has a population of 5.2 million. Comprehensive studies for the construction of a new urban railway line were conducted during 1994-99 and 2002-04, highlighting the requirement for four new urban rail lines in Mashhad.

“Line 1 carries 17,000 passengers an hour in each direction.”

Construction of Line 1 commenced in 2000, while in 2004 plans for a 6km north extension of the line were announced. Trail runs on Line 1 began in January 2011, limited revenue services began in April 2011 and the line was formally opened to passengers in October 2011. The extension of the Line 1 was opened in February 2016.

Line 1 carries 17,000 passengers an hour in each direction.

Mashhad Urban Railway routes

The 19km-long Line 1 runs from Nakhrisi in the east to the Vakilabad in the south-west. Around half of the route encompasses an underground section. Line 1 includes 22 stations, of which 11 are underground. The 6km north extension of Line 1 runs from Nakhrisi to the Mashhad International Airport.

Line 2, extending from Koohsangi to Tabarsi, is a heavy metro and includes 12 underground stations. The metro line runs under street level in a tunnel extending in a north-east-south-west direction. Total length of Line 2 is approximately 14.3km, with 14km located underground.

Line 2 provides connections to the existing metro Line 1 and future Line 3 and Line 4, as well as the national railway line of Iran.

Related project

Tehran Metro, Iran

Tehran Metro is a rapid transit system serving Tehran, the capital city of Iran. Four lines (lines 1, 2, 4 and 5) of the metro are operational while two lines (lines 3 and 7) are still under construction. The system is owned and operated by Tehran Urban and Suburban Railway.

Line 3 is expected to be 28.5km in length and will include 24 stations. Line 4 will be 17.5km in length with 15 stations. A fifth monorail line is also in the planning stages.

Mashhad Metro construction

The Supreme Council approved the construction of the 14.3km-long Line 2 in May 2007. ParsMetro is responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of Line 2. The underground stations of Line 2  were built between 16m and 25m underground.

A 10.8km tunnel section of Line 2 was built using a tunnel boring machine (TBM). The outer diameter of the twin-track tunnel is 9.4m. The tunnel-tube is bored using an earth pressure balance shield (EPB) method through stiff-to-hard clay containing sand and coarse gravel with boulders.

The 8km section of Line 2 from Kashfrood to Shohada was opened in February 2017. The project linking Mashhad metro Line 1 and Line 2 was inaugurated in May 2018.

Construction on the Line 3 is currently underway.

Rolling stock

In February 2007, Mashhad Urban Railway placed an order with CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles for 60 three-set light rail vehicles (LRVs) for the operation on Line 1. The first LRVs were delivered in November 2010.

The low-floor vehicles can transport 270 passengers with 60 seated at a maximum operating speed of 70km/h. Commercial operating speed of the trains is 34.5km/h with a journey time of 30 minutes. Each car-body is 11.8m-long, 2.65m-wide and 3.59m-tall. The height of the floor from the rail top is 380mm.

Contractors involved

In March 2012, the main line contractor, Farab and Tehran Wagon Manufacturing signed a contract to deliver 100 wagon systems for the Mashhad Metro. Under the contract, Tehran Wagon and CNR jointly built 100 wagons for Mashhad urban tail train.

“Tehran Wagon and CNR jointly built 100 wagons for Mashhad urban tail train.”

Arthe Civil & Structure was contracted to deliver detailed engineering and consultancy services for the bored tunnel of Line 2. It is responsible for the geotechnical investigations, design and engineering of the tunnel lining and boring works, stability analyses, design and evaluation of TBM, as well as evaluation and selection of construction materials.

The PARSIAN Rail Power (PRP) was contracted to provide EPC services for the electrical works of Line 2.