Railways in Iran – Part 11 – Anglo-Persian Oil Company Ltd.

The Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) was founded in 1908 after the discovery of a large oil field in the South of what is now Iran. [2] Masjid-i-Sulaiman was the location where oil was first discovered in the Middle East. [3]

At the beginning of the 20th century, Khuzestan was one of the most impoverished and least urbanized areas of Iran, itself a desperately poor country. “In 1900 Iran was a fairly primitive, almost isolated state, barely distinguishable as an economic entity. About one fifth of the population lived in small towns; another quarter consisted of nomadic tribes, while the rest eked out an existence in poor villages” [9][11]. “Historical cities of Shushtar, Dezful, Ramhormoz, Hoveyzeh, and Behbahan, had small populations ranging between 7 and 25 thousand. Ahvaz (the provincial capital to the North of Abadan) was initially a large village, but it had been turning into a fast growing market town following the opening of Karun in 1880s to steamship commerce and the construction of the mule transport “Lynch Road” from there through Zagros to Esfahan.” [9].

William Knox D’Arcy, under contract to Ali-Qoli Khan Bakhtiari, obtained permission to explore for oil in Iran, he discovered oil near Masjid-i-Sulaiman in 1908. [3][4][5] This was the first time that oil  had been discovered in the Middle East, changing the history of the region and resulting in wealth beyond what country leaders could ever have hoped for or imagined. The oil discovery led to a petrochemical industry and the establishment of industries that strongly depended on oil.

Masjid-i-Sulaiman, is situated among the foothills of the Iranian plateau, about 130 miles inland from the Persian Gulf. The reserves are very significant and resulted in the construction of a pipeline to link Majid-i-Sulaiman, and another oilfield at Haft Kel, with the Persian Gulf, an oil depot, and what became a large refinery at Abadan.

An early view of the Oilfield at Masjid-i-Sulaiman. [16]

Near Masjid-i-Sulaiman, the pipe line is carried on a suspension bridge. In this illustration men are seen assembling the lengths of pipe line after the completion of the bridge. [17]

Construction of the refinery commenced in 1910 and the contraction was completed in 1912. Its capacity was 2500 barrels/day and it was the first oil refinery in the Middle East. [18]

The island at the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris. The depot of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Oil fuel was of utmost necessity for the Mesopotamian river traffic in the advance on Baghdad in the First World War. This image is a a view of Abadan from the river at the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris, seen at night. There is a dhow with sails down in the foreground, and the lights and outlines of an oil depot in the background. Date: (First World War). [12]

In 1914, the British government purchased a 51% stake in the oil company, [6] and during the First World War, Abadan refinery was expanded to provide fuel for warships. [18]

The development of Abadan oil refinery accelerated in 1932 and in 1935, APOC was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) when Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign countries to refer to Persia as Iran. An institute of technology was established at Abadan in 1939. [18]

In World War II, after the Allies lost the Burmese oil and refinery, more attention was paid to the expansion of Abadan refinery and it became the largest refinery in the world. It supplied 25,000 barrels/day of aircraft gasoline during the war with the amount of 25,000 barrels per day and, as a result, contributed significantly to the Allied victory in WWII. [18]

Embed from Getty Images

An aerial view of barges in a dock at Abadan, Iran, 12th January 1947. (Photo by Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images) Parts of the 3ft gauge rail network are visible in this image. One track runs alongside the road to the left of the image. Two lines run parallel to each other to the left of the dock wall. They run between the legs of the rail mounted cranes. Wagons can be made out on these lines. This image is embedded from the Getty Images website with their kind permission. [14]

Later the government of Mohammad Mosaddegh nationalized the company’s local infrastructure assets and gave the new company the name National Iranian Oil Company. Mohammed Mosaddegh was Prime Minster of Iran from 1951 until 1953, when his government was overthrown in a coup d’état which was orchestrated by the CIA and MI6. [7]

An aerial view of Abadan in 1951, when the Iranian government nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Source: The Illustrated London News, London, 8th September 1951, (Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International) [13].

In 1954, after the coup, the Company was renamed again to the British Petroleum Company (BP). [2] The products of Abadan refinery were once again sent to international markets at a rate of up to 300,000 barrels/day. By 1977, the capacity of the refinery had increased to 600,000 barrels/day. With that expansion, Abadan refinery regained its status as the largest refinery in the world. However, in 1980, the Iran/Iraq war brought all production to an end. [18] 

Recovery and further development has been slow and has been significantly affected by the international blockade.

The Railway Network in and around Abadan

The Anglo-Persian Oil Company had its own railway network at their Abadan Oil Depot and had a series of other lines which accessed the oil fields. The Wonders of World Engineering Magazine which was published from Spring 1937 to Spring 1938, [16][17] has two articles about the Iranian oilfields. The adjacent sketch map  is included in the second of those articles. [17] The dark lines represent oil pipelines which were already transporting oil in 1937/1938. Of interest for this article are the two railway lines shown. One is the Trans-Iranian Railway which heads North from the port of Bandar Shahpur. Eariier articles in this short series about the railways of Iran cover that line. Towards the top of the map is a short line running from Dar-i-Khazineh to the oilfield at Masjid-i-Suleiman.

Also, it is interesting to read a military report which was written in 1940. Iain Logie, an online acquaintance through the Continental Railway Circle (CRC) and author of an article about the Dar-i-Khazineh Fields Railway in The Narrow Gauge magazine [32], pointed me to this document which is available on the Qatar National Library website. [19] That document focuses on possible supply routes from the Persian Gulf to the North of Iran and so is not particularly interested in the pipeline supplying oil to Abadan.

It is probably very appropriate to note at this point that Iain Logie’s scholarly article in The Narrow Gauge magazine [32] is a comprehensive and detailed look at the Dar-i-Khazineh Fields Railway. I only received a copy of the article after having written this present article based around the 1940 Military Report. I have reviewed the text below in the light of receiving Iain Logie’s article and corrected some things which were incorrect.

The landscape between Abadan and Ahwaz. The River Karun was used for transporting oil/good to and from Masjid-i-Suleiman. (Google Maps)

I find the content, of what was a very long military report fascinating, but for our present purposes, we need to focus on the route to the oilfields. The report tells us that in July 1940: “From Basra, Mohammerah (Khorramshahr) or Abadan the recognised and only reliable all-weather route to the oilfields is by river craft. At Ahwaz transshipment is necessary owing to the rapids.” [19: p13]  The river used was the River Karun. Details regarding transshipment are given later in the military document. I have unearthed some footage from the early 20th century which is shown below. Transshipment took place by means of a tramway at Ahvaz. Sadly I cannot translate the Persian subtitles which appear from time to time.

The Military Report from the 1940s has a plan showing the new railway link to the Trans-Iranian Railway in the centre of Ahvaz. The transshipment tramway is marked on that plan and is highlighted by a light red line on an extract from that plan below. [19: Map 3] By the time the report was written the tramway was no longer in use.

Central Ahvaz in the late 1930s. [19: Map 3]

The short film above and the author of the military report confirm that, “Dar-i-Khazineh is the riverhead, and a light railway (via Tembi) and metalled road to the oil-field (Masjid-i-Suleiman) area start from there.” [19: p13]

The Dar-i-Khazineh Fields Railway

Dar-i-Khazineh is North-northeast from Ahvaz on the River Karun. The location is shown on the satellite image immediately below. The transshipment wharf was at the riverside. The railway only had a few access sidings at that location. A little further to the Northeast were a series of holding sidings.

Dar-i-Khazineh in the 21st century. (Google Maps)

The plan below was included with the 1940 military report, it is from a survey undertaken in the late 1930s and shows the Dar-i-Khazineh site. It is followed by two enlarged extracts. A key to the numbered buildings has also been enlarged below. The railway layout is clear on these plans.

Alongside these sidings you can see the locomotive shed which was the oil-supply point for the locomotives ((10) on the plans). (7)(8) and (9) were the stores, offices and railway workshop. (5) and (6) were living accommodation. (3) was a goods shed and (4) was a store house. (2) was an explosives store. (12) was guest accommodation and (13) was the superintendent’s house. (14) was the site water tank and (15) was the water pump-house.

At Dar-i-Khazineh, the wharf was 150 to 200 feet long and could accept 5-ton axle loads. Access to the wharf was by good metalled roads and the light railway. The wharf was occasionally submerged during periods of floods – around once in 5 years. Two cranes served the barges. One 15-ton Scotch derrick and one 10-ton travelling crane. [19: Appendix X, p91]

Dar-i-Khazineh transshipment point between river and rail. [19: Map 4] If the numbers can be made out in the image then the key below will be useful!Dar-i-Khazineh, riverside. [19: Map 4]Dar-i-Khazineh, sidings. [19: Map 4]

Key to the maps above. [19: Map 4]

The Light Railway from Dar-i-Khazineh to Masjid-i-Suleiman was a single line 2ft 6 in gauge railway of 36 miles in length, (increasing to 40 miles if sidings are included). The Rails on the earliest section of the railway were 30 lbs. secured to steel sleepers by steel keys. The track was ballasted with sandstone and river shingle. The notes go on to say that the railway had:

“Curves 5° to 45°. Maximum grade 3.2%. There are 3 main bridge[s of] Hopkins Truss type of spans 105, 120 and 120 feet. The line follows the metalled road from Dar-i-Khazineh towards Masjid-i-Suleiman to Abgah after which it turns south-east following the Tembi River to Tembi Power Station and thence runs to Masjid-i-Suleiman and Chashm-i-Ali. There are stations at D.i.K., Abgah (12 miles) Batwand (16 miles) Tembi (27 miles) M.i.S. (32 miles) Chashm-i-Ali (36 miles). The average time taken from D.i.K. to Chashm-i-Ali is 4.5 hours.” [19: p19]

The old railway followed the metalled road between Dar-i-Khazineh and Abgah, (Google Maps). The route f the line has been imposed on the satellite image as a faint red line hugging the South side of the road.The narrow gauge railway followed the road from Abgah to Batvand. It’s approximate route is shown by a faint red line imposed on the satellite image. Close to Batvand the line left the metalled road and followed the course of the River Tembi. 

As a point of clarification, the old railway probably dictated the route of the metalled road at least as far as Abgah. [32] Iain Logie includes a superb picture of the bridge which carried the railway over the River Tembi close to Batvand. [32] His article also includes the map below.

Iain Logie produced this plan of the route in 2017 and included it in his article about the railway [32] Used by kind permission.

I have not been able to find any sign of the route of the railway on Google Earth close to the River Tembi. Nor can I find any modern reference to Tembi Power Station on the internet. For the military report to refer to it, it must have been a reasonably significant structure. All we know from that military report is that between Batvand Railway Station (the location of which I have failed to ascertain) and Tembi Railway Station close to the Power Station was a distance of around 11 miles (18 kilometres).

There was apparently a short branchline from the main line to Masjid-i-Suleiman which was built to serve the construction work on the power station. [32]

The river approaches Masjid-i-Suleiman from the Southwest, that was the direction from which the narrow gauge railway approached the town. Iain Logie has an excellent map of the route of the line and some additional pictures which come from the BP archive.

Masjid-i-Suleiman Station Yard. [20]

I have been able to find one relatively grainy image of the station yard at Masjid-i-Suleiman on wikiwand. It shows what appears to be a saddle tank (possibly an ALCO 0-6-0ST which would have been supplied from Egypt) in steam and a range of goods wagons. [20]

Further searching on the internet identified one Iranian website which covers the story of the construction of the line and provides some other interesting pictures. [21]

That site tells the story like this (translated using Google Translate): “In 1921 AD, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company started the construction of a railway line from the River Karun to Masjed Soleiman and completed it in 1923 AD. The length of this railway was 57 km and the track-gauge was 76 cm. In fact, a railway of this length had never been built in Iran until then. Previously, the only railway linked the city of Rey with Tehran. The national railway of Iran was not inaugurated until 15 years later.” [21]

Stations were established along the way which included Abgah, Haji Abad, Tembi, Malkarim, Masjid-i-Suleiman and Chashm-i-Ali, and finally a Food Depot and Gunpowder Depot. The train stopped at these stations to supply the coal and water it needed, or to pick up and drop off passengers. At Tembi station, the sulfur for transport to Abadan or abroad was loaded. At Malkarim a passing loop was provided and alongside the line a Gypsum Factory produced gypsum for delivery by goods train to various places for use. At Chashm-i-Ali there was a goods warehouse and locomotive maintenance depot.

The railway had eight locomotives, initially it commenced operation with light locomotives that  had been received from the Army Delegation and Sales Board at Kantara railway station in Egypt. (These locomotives were used in World War I). In 1925, two 2-6-0 tank locomotives made by Kerr Stuart and 25 wagons from Britain were transferred to this line. And in later years newer locomotives were added to the line. The fuel for these locomotives was initially coal, but soon changed to oil. [21]

There were several small and large bridges along the railway, some of which still remain. There were four large bridges, three of which were at the intersection of the Tembi River, which were made of metal, and another with crescent-shaped openings on the Behlool River (Batvand), where only traces of concrete or stone pillars are visible. In general, the route has disappeared.” [21]

At the peak of its activity, the railway moved about 9800 tons of goods per month. During its 27-year life, the railway transported more than one million tons of goods and during the first years of its operation also transported passengers. It played a very important role for the oil industry and the development of Masjed-e-Soliman. [21]

The 1940 Military Report continues:

“From D.i.K. to Abgah and from Tembi to M.i.S. the maximum useful lift per train is 45 tons; between Abgah and Tembi, 85 tons.

At present, the A.I.O.C. run an average of one train per day. moving 60 tons from end to end. The maximum ever moved by them in one month is 3,600 tons, or 120 tons average per day.” [19: p19]

The military report then goes on to estimate how much greater use could be made of the line and notes, in 1940, that the locomotives in use burned oil fuel. 

Locomotives and Rolling Stock

The military report [19] has an Appendix which covers the available motive power and wagons in 1940. [19: Appendix XI, 19: p92-93] There were 3 No. Peckett Locos and 3 No. Kerr-Stuart Locos on the line at that time. In addition a Drewry Railcar was available as an inspection vehicle. This does not tell the full story of what motive power was available at different times on the line. But we consider the 6 oil-fired steam locomotives mentioned in the military report, first.

Peckett and Sons Locomotives

It is known that at least two locomotives were supplied to the railway by Peckett and Sons of Bristol. A detailed description of one of these locos is provided in a paper in the Industrial Railway Record (IRR). [8] The paper was a reproduction of an article first published in ‘The Locomotive Magazine and Railway Carriage & Wagon Review’ on 14th March 1931.

0-6-2 tank locomotive, 2 ft. 6 in gauge, for the Anglo-Persian Oil Co., built by Peckett and Sons, Bristol. This locomotive is No.1750, ‘D.I.K 1928’, of February 1928, a Peckett Type M5. [8]

These locomotives were oil-fired. When fully loaded they carried 520 gallons of water and 200 gallons of fuel oil. [8]

That same article explains that there were around 40 miles of track “linking up the different oil wells at Masjid-i-Sulaiman and providing means of transport for stores and supplies between that district and the depot at Abadan, which is also the port of shipment for the oil.” [8]

Martyn Bane also provides a copy of the paper in the IRR [8] He goes on to say that the “Anglo-Persian Oil Co. must have been happy with their locomotives as “Peckett’s later supplied two more machines: Locomotive No.1816 of October 1930, named ‘D.I.K. 1930’ came first and was followed by No.1909, ‘D.I.K. 1936’ in October 1936.” [1] It was Martyn Bane’s article that first alerted me to the 2ft 6in network at Abadan.

No.1909, ‘D.I.K. 1936’ of October 1936. It is possible that this photograph may be a re-touched version of the photograph above showing No.1750. [1]

Wikipedia lists these locomotives as below:

4 No. Peckett Locomotives used at Abadan. [15] It seems that, at the time of the military inspection only three of these were available. [19: p92] Since first publishing this article. I have been informed that No. 1751 was not built. The M5 classification is also strictly incorrect as these locomotives were a variant, an M5 special. The M5 locos were 0-4-0T locomotives.

Kerr Stuart Locomotives

The following Kerr Stuart Locomotives were purchased by Anglo Persia Oil Co. for their 2ft 6in gauge line running from the River Karun to Masjid-i-Suleiman:

Kerr Stuart No. 4189 – May 1923 (Huxley Boiler).
Kerr Stuart No. 4190 – May 1923 (Huxley Boiler).
Kerr Stuart No. 4191 – May 1923 (Huxley Boiler).

They were from a series of 21 No. 104 H.P. 0-6-2T locomotives to a design first built in 1912. Kerr Stuart christened the class, “Matary”. The design was suitable for gauges between 2ft and 4ft 8 ½ inches and rails of between 25-30 lbs per yard. The metre gauge locomotives had inside frames and locomotives with narrower gauges had outside frames. [23]

Further details of the class can also be found on the Fourdees website. [24]

These are noted as being available in the 1940 military report. [19: p92]

Other Motive Power

W.G. Bagnall Locomotives

Internet searches show that Fourdees also make a model which is based on the Bagnall version of the “Matary.”. They say that two of these Bagnall 0-6-2T locos were supplied to the Dar-i-Khazineh line in 1941. [25] There is a series of historical railway photographs from Iran on on ‘flickriver’ [26] among which are the front [27] and reverse [28] of an order card from Bagnall’s works showing one of these locomotives.

A letter to ‘The Narrow Gauge Magazine suggests that these two 0-6-2T oil-fired Bagnall Locomotives were actually ordered in 1944 and delivered in 1945/6. [29] Iain Logie agrees with these dates. [32]

Before the line was settled enough to order new locomotives 8 steam and petrol locomotives were in use on the line, all ex-ROD locomotives. Iain Logie has full details of these in a table of the motive power used on the line.[32]

ALCO Locomotives

The 8 steam locomotives were all ALCO locomotives which were manufactured during the Great War and supplied to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. British  manufacturers were unable to meet the delivery requirements of the Army and so an American supplier was used. Iain Logie says that the locos were first required  for a 2ft 6in gauge light railway which served an elaborate system of defences along the Suez Canal. [32] He continues: “The ALCOs  proved to be rather limited in power and they were soon confined to shunting and local freight trips, rather than being used on the mainline where they were replaced by newer more powerful locomotives.” [32] Iain Logie has one picture of a loco of this class at work in one of the station yards. [32]

It appears that 24 of these locomotives were bought by the ROD in 1916 for use in Egypt. [33]

Hawthorn Leslie Petrol Locomotives

Iain Logie syas that two Hawthorn Leslie petrol locos (Army No 67 and 75) were purchased by APOC in 1922 and were used as shunting locos at Chashmeh-i-Ali and were operated by the stores staff rather than railway staff. [32]

Drewry Railcar

In 1940, one Drewry Railcar was available in the line. It was a 25 hp vehicle. [19: p92] It is likely that this vehicle was the one shown earlier in this article. The photo is repeated here.

In an article in The Narrow Gauge Magazine, [29] Rodney Weaver writes of a series of 19 No. Drewry Railcars were supplied during the 1st World War to 2ft 6in gauge as ambulances for Mesopotamia. The order was designated ‘Mesrail 14’. it was placed on “20th November 1916 and confirmed on 22nd December.
The first nine cars were handed over on 29th March 1917 and delivery was completed on 1st June, Like all Drewry cars between 1911 and 1930 they were actually built by Baguley Cars Ltd. (later Baguley (Engineers) Ltd.) of Burton-upon-Trent.” [29: p19]

Weaver goes on to say: “The cars were built on standard B-type chassis as used for hundreds of more orthodox (and a few more unorthodox) railcars over the years, The frame length was 16ft and the wheelbase 7ft, the light cast wheels being 24″ diameter. Power was provided by a Baguley petrol engine, a four-cylinder unit of 90mm bore x 130mm stroke rated at 20 hp. There was a three-speed gearbox, and a reverse box, one axle only being driven by a roller chain from the latter.” [29: p19]

Weaver describes the railcar like this: “The body comprised two driving platforms with a stretcher compartment between them. Two stretchers could be carried on either side of the car, one resting on top of a folded canvas seat that formed the floor and the other
carried on an upper platform that could be swung out and down on a form of parallel motion. Alternatively both stretchers and the upper platform could be removed and the canvas seat erected, when six walking cases could be accommodated. Between the stretchers was a corridor and seat for the attendant, access to which was gained by a door at one end of the car. The car could thus carry four stretcher cases, two stretcher and six walking cases or twelve walking cases as required.” [29: p19]

He continues: “In service the sides of the cars were normally covered by canvas screens bearing the Red Cross insignia, the rest of the vehicle being painted khaki.” [29: p20]

It seems that APOC must have seen these Railcars in action and decided to purchase two direct from Bauley in 1924. Iain Logie comments that these were intended to provide a passenger service on the line. At the same time as their purchase one trailer was also bought. [32]

The passenger service on the line was short-lived and abandoned in 1930. It seems as though the construction of the metalled road meant that a much quicker journey from Dar-i-Khazineh to Masjid-i-Suleiman was available. Iain Logie also comments that one of the ex-Army bogie vans was converted to provide better passenger facilities. The wartime use of the Drewry vehicle is illustrated below. [29: p22]

Drewry Railcar ambulance for Mesopotamia. [29: p22]

Baguley/Drewry Inspection Trolleys

APOC purchased a number of inspection trolleys, one of which is shown earlier in this article. These are listed by Iain Logie as well. [32]


Iain Logie’s article goes on to survey the goods wagons available on the line before highlighting the rapide decline of the railway after the Second World War. By the end of the War the military construction of roads had dramatically improved road links. The “road distance from Abadan to Masjid-i-Suleiman was 262 kilometres (163 miles) and that journey could be completed in 8 hours, whereas using the existing river and rail route, the distance was 382, kilometres and the journey would take 4 days, or longer.” [32] The railway closed in 1948 and its track was lifted in 1949.

Abandon Oil-Depot, Port and Refinery

There were railways at the port of Abadan as the image earlier in this article shows. The Abadan Depot and Refinery lines were set at 3ft gauge. More of them can be seen on the photographs below.

An Aerial view of Abadan from sometime in the 1920s or 1930s [10] This image appears to show rail tracks just above the T-junction on the bottom right of the photograph and again at the extreme bottom right with one line apparently running across the image on the near side of the road.Ships unloading at the Abadan waterfront in 1942. The rail lines and some wagons are in evidence. [30]Ships unloading at the Abadan waterfront in 1942. The rail lines and some wagons are in evidence. [30]Another postcard image of the wharf at Abadan. The rails providing access to the wharf are visible near the centre of the card image. [31]

The layout of the refinery railway is shown on the next two images which are taken from the 1940 Military Report. [19] The majority of the network is illustrated on the two extracts.

A two-part plan of Abadan Refinery in the late 1930s contained in the 1940 Military Report. The Railway network is visible although the resolution is not that good. [19: Map 2]

Oil production rose from a capacity of 2,500 barrels per day in the early 1910s to 650,000 barrels per day in the late 1970s. [36: APOC Abadan Refinery Railway]

Notes kept in the Narrow Gauge Railway Society library  say that the railway network at the refinery was 65 miles in length. They say that there were 405 points, that as the refinery expanded around 3 miles of track were laid each month.  Maintenance work saw around 2 miles of track lifted and reconditioned each month with around 5 miles of track ballasted each month! [34]

Iain Logie kindly sent me a distillation from the 1940 Military Report Map above which is held in the Narrow Gauge Railway Society Library. It is much easier to read than the original map. [35]

A map of Abadan as it was in the 1930s. [35] The railways can more eaily be [picked out on this plan.

The Narrow Gauge Railway Society Library holds a set of notes which incorporate the best of the sources about locomotives into one document. [36: APOC Abadan Refinery Railway]

The first railway at the refinery and port was a 2ft gauge railway purchased from a War disposal auction after the Great War. The Company were less than content with the 2ft gauge and despite there being a great deal of 2ft-gauge stock available in the post war years, decided that a 3ft-gauge railway would be meet the needs of the refinery. [36: APOC Abadan Refinery Railway]

The locomotive list for the site in quite long! It included Petrol (4No.), ‘Light’ Diesel (8 No.), ‘Heavy’ Diesel (16 No.) and Fireless (15 No.) Locomotives. [36: APOC Abadan Refinery Railway][37]

Iain Logie very kindly sent me the next two images which show a Hunslet 0-6-0 Diesel Mechanical locomotive as supplied to APOC/AIOC in the late 1930s and during WW2, and Hudswell Clarke Fireless Locomotive Works No. 1646 which was supplied to Abadan in June 1931.




  1. https://www.martynbane.co.uk/peckett/articles/persia.html, accessed on 26th March 2020 and 18th November 2020.
  2. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Persian_Oil_Company, accessed on 23rd July 2020.
  3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masjed_Soleyman, accessed on 23rd July 2020.
  4. M.S. Vassiliou; Historical Dictionary of the Petroleum Industry; Lanham; Scarecrow, Maryland, 2009.
  5. Peter Frankopan; The Silk Roads: A New History of the World; Alfred A. Knopf;New York, 2016, p. 319
  6. Daniel Yergin;  The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power; New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991; p138–147, 158.
  7. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Mosaddegh, accessed on 16th November 2020.
  8. The Industrial Railway Record, Volume 53, April 1974, p202-203; https://www.irsociety.co.uk/Archives/53/Persia.htm, accessed on 18th November 2020.
  9. https://abadantimes.com/2016/04/28/making-abadan-an-oil-town-1911-1921, accessed on 18th November 2020.
  10. https://ajammc.com/2015/02/16/abadan-oil-city-dreams, accessed on 18th November 2020.
  11. Julian Bharier, Economic Development in Iran 1900-1970; Oxford University Press, London, 1971, p19.
  12. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Extended_caption-_The_island_in_the_mouth_of_junction_of_the_Euphrates_and_Tigris._The_depot_of_the_Anglo-Persian_Oil_Company._Oil_fuel_was_of_utmost_necessity_for_the_Mesopotamian_river_traffic_in_the_advance_Art.IWMART1835.jpg, accessed on 19th November 2020.  This image was created and released by the Imperial War Museum on the IWM Non Commercial Licence. Photographs taken, or artworks created, by a member of the forces during their active service duties are covered by Crown Copyright provisions. Faithful reproductions may be reused under that licence, which is considered expired 50 years after their creation.
  13. Carola Hein; Oil Spaces: The Global Petroleumscape in the Rotterdam/The Hague Area; Journal of Urban History. Volume No. 44, 2018, p1-43; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323157672_Oil_Spaces_The_Global_Petroleumscape_in_the_RotterdamThe_Hague_Area accessed on 19th November 2020.
  14. https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/an-aerial-view-of-barges-in-a-dock-at-abadan-iran-12th-news-photo/136780310, accessed on 19th November 2020.
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Peckett_and_Sons_railway_locomotives, accessed on 19th November 2020.
  16. https://www.wondersofworldengineering.com/part22.html#OilRefining1, accessed on 19th November 2020.
  17. https://www.wondersofworldengineering.com/part23.html#OilRefining2, accessed on 19th November 2020.
  18. https://abadan-ref.ir/en/about-us, accessed on 19th November 2020.
  19. http://www.qdl.qa/en/archive/81055/vdc_100000000239.0x00013e, accessed on 20th November 2020, full details are in Appendix 1, the document can be accessed using this link which is repeated in the Appendix.
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masjed_Soleyman, accessed on 22nd November 2020.
  21. http://www.goftemanews.ir/احداث-خط-آهنی, accessed on 22nd November 2020.
  22. https://www.facebook.com/ahwazion20/videos/952199738538878/?sfnsn=scwspmo, accessed on 22nd November 2020.
  23. https://www.national-preservation.com/threads/bowaters-superior-and-triumph.245774, accessed on 22nd November 2020
  24. https://www.fourdees.co.uk/superior, accessed on 22nd November 2020.
  25. https://www.fourdees.co.uk/darkhazineh, accessed on 22nd November 2020.
  26. https://www.flickriver.com/photos/124446949@N06/sets/72157654112126260, accessed on 23rd November 2020.
  27. https://www.flickr.com/photos/124446949@N06/23052963480/in/album-72157654112126260, accessed on 23rd November 2020.
  28. https://www.flickr.com/photos/124446949@N06/22720381344, accessed on 23rd November 2020.
  29. https://ngrslibrary.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/tng56-feb-1971.pdf, accessed on 23rd November 2020.
  30. https://www.msabbekerk.nl/?p=3234, accessed on 24th November 2020.
  31. https://www.pinterest.fr/ABTIMES/abadan-in-the-1930s, accessed on 24th November 2020.
  32. Iain Logie; The Dar-i-Khazineh Fields Railway: A British Narrow Gauge Railway in Persia; in The Narrow Gauge Magazine No. 252, January 2019.
  33. http://www.borht.org.uk/WW1Corrigenda.pdf, accessed on 26th November 2020.
  34. Iain Logie provided access to the notes about the refinery railway at Abadan. They come from the BP Archive – File: ARC 44257. Iain Logie advises caution in reading these notes as they provide some detailed information which is different from other sources. This is particularly true in the details provided about motive power and rolling stock. [36]
  35. The Narrow Gauge Railway Society Library.
  36. A series of notes provided by the NGRS covering the railways of Iran, of which the NGRS says the following: ‘These research notes are intended to provide users of the Narrow Gauge Railway Society’s library with an introduction to the narrow gauge railways of Iran as a starting point for personal research projects. Additional, more specific sources for further research are noted in the text for each railway.’ 
  37. A.C. Baker & T.D. Civil; Fireless Locomotives; Oakwood Press, 1976.

Appendix 1

Military Report on The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s (South Iranian) Oilfield Area

Reference IOR/L/MIL/17/15/24
Date(s) 1940 (CE, Gregorian)
Written in English
Extent and Format 1 volume (69 folios)
Holding Institution British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers

A copy of this document is available via the Qatar National Library and can be accessed freely under an Open Government Licence. Full details of the licence can be found on the link below.

Rather than printing this document in full as part of this post, it can be viewed on the following link:                           http://www.qdl.qa/en/archive/81055/vdc_100000000239.0x00013e

6 thoughts on “Railways in Iran – Part 11 – Anglo-Persian Oil Company Ltd.

  1. David Wallingford

    AIOC had another railway which went from Bandar Mashur (now Bandar Mahshahr) foreshore to Agha Jari workshops in Umidiyeh (now Omidiyeh). The workshops were huge with stores for all the southern oilfields and lathes that could load lengths of oil pipe. As a child I saw the engines in 1960 and they were then sold circa 1961 for scrap since the oil consortium did not want the railway.

      1. David Wallingford

        Dear Roger
        I was aged 4/5 at the time but I have today looked at my father’s slide collection and found some shots of me playing on the engines. I will see next year if I can get a digital copy made of the one that shows the engine clearest and send it to you. The slide shows engine AJ 6 painted in apple green. I am not sure of the wheel configuration – maybe 2-4-0.
        One of the slides shows open wagons in the background and the shots were taken in the train yard at the back of the Umidiyeh workshops. The line ran to Bandar Mashur on the LHS of the road when going from AJ to BM. Google may show some faint residual traces since it was partly on made up embankment with low bridges to handle winter floods (the road used Irish crossings). As I said yesterday once AIOC got kicked out in 1951 the railway fell into disuse and the new consortium (maybe NIOC) sold the rolling stock for scrap much to my childhood sorrow!
        Hope this helps.

      2. David Wallingford

        Roger I sent you a couple of photographs last Monday to your private e-mail. I have received no ‘bounce’ message – have you received them?Regards

      3. rogerfarnworth Post author

        Yes David, my apologies. We are settling into a new house in Telford having moved from Manchester and I have not been quite as good as I should be in responding to emails.

Leave a Reply to David Wallingford Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.