Veresk Bridge – Savad Kooh
The Veresk Bridge in Iran was constructed during the reign of Reza Shah in 1936 and connects the railway between Tehran and the Caspian Sea region. It is located in Mazandaran’s Veresk district of Savad Kooh county, 85 kilometers south of Ghaemshahr. The bridge stands at 110m tall and its arch measures 66m long. It connects two of the mountains in the Abbas Abad region. The difficult terrain required 55 tunnels along a 309 mile (497 km) route. A temporary steel falsework was left below the bridge – probably to facilitate future maintenance of the arch.
The bridge is one of the masterpieces of the Danish engineering firm Kampsax, (consisting of mostly German and Austrian engineers) serving the Trans-Iranian Railway network in Northern Iran. It’s been said after finishing the bridge people had a fear that the train wouldn’t be able to pass the narrow bridge and that it will break. As a result the engineer and his family stood under it when the first train passed the bridge (local accounts claim that Reza Shah had asked them to do so anyway).
Underneath the bridge is a memorial structure built in memory of all the construction workers who lost their life in the course of building the Veresk Bridge and its nearby tunnels. The Chief Engineer, Austrian Walter Inger, is also buried in this location. Also under the bridge is an underground tunnel for which trains pass through after crossing the bridge and gradually dropping altitude and before pulling into the train station.
During World War II, it was known as the Pol-e-Piroozi, or the bridge of victory. In the course of the war Reza Shah was asked by Hitler to blow up all tunnels and bridges, including the Veresk Bridge, on Iran’s railway lines in order to delay the transfer of goods and reinforcement troops to the north for the Russians. He furthermore promised to replace and reconstruct all of such demolished structures following the Germans’ victory in the war. Reza Shah rejected the request.
Today on average trains connecting Tehran to Gorgan or Sari pass over this bridge 4 times a day.
In order to visit this bridge, you can take the Firouzkouh route from Tehran to the north.