The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways has added women-only train cars on routes running between Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province.
The first train with the new added coaches left the capital on April 4, Mehr News Agency reported.
“There used to be one or two women-only compartments on intercity trains running on certain routes, but due to the huge reception and increasing demand, an entire carriage of eight 4-person compartments has been reserved for women,” said Mohamamd Hadi Ziaei, director of the provincial railways department.
The Tehran-Mashhad route accounts for more than half of the country’s railroad traffic. The initiative is said to be an attempt to help women feel safer and more comfortable during intercity journeys, particularly to Mashhad which is home to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) and a popular tourist destination throughout the year.
Stewards on these cars will be women and fluent in English, according to news outlets. The use of women-only carriages on trains is a norm. There have been such arrangements in many countries for decades.
Women-only carriages are available on some transport services in countries including Japan, India, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, the UAE and Russia to ensure a safe and secure trip for women. The Tehran Metro reserves the first and last carriages on all trains for women and kids. It has become an accepted norm and seems to be spreading to other forms of transport.