In August 1941, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom together occupied Iran. One motivation for that invasion was the establishment of a supply line to the Soviet Union through Iran, the so-called Persian Corridor. According to the Wikipedia article on the Persian Corridor, something like 25% of Allied land/lease cargo for the Soviet Union (4.2 million tons of 17.5 million tons) went through Iran.

The wikipedia article also has a nice map with a number of different rail and road routes in the Persian Corridor. (Note that some of these routes also go through Iraq):

map with different routes in the Persian Corridor

However, the wikipedia article about the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran makes it seem as if the corridor was not a whole network of routes, but basically just one railway line (emphasis mine):

With the Wehrmacht steadily advancing through the Soviet Union, the Persian Corridor formed by the Trans-Iranian Railway offered one of the easiest ways to supply the Soviets with Lend-Lease goods sent by sea from the then technically neutral United States. British and Soviet planners recognized the importance of that railway and sought to control it. As increasing U-boat attacks and winter ice made convoys to Arkhangelsk (which commenced in August 1941) dangerous, the railway seemed an increasingly attractive strategic route.

The Trans-Iranian was built through notoriously difficult terrain (difficult enough to put it into the UNESCO world heritage list). It has serious bottlenecks both in the Zagros and in the Alborz mountains, with only single tracks, lots of narrow curves etc. Given all that, I wonder how accurate the impression from that second wp article is:

Was the Persian Corridor really mainly one single railway line? Or were road transport and other railways equally or even more significant?

I did of course read both wp articles, but did not find anything that would answer this particular question, beyond memtioning that threre was at least some road transport (and sea transport on the Caspian Sea).

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    "The Allies delivered all manner of materiel to the Soviet Union ranging from Studebaker US6 trucks to American canned food. Most of the supplies transiting through the Persian Corridor arrived by ship at various ports in the Persian Gulf and were then carried northwards by railroad or in long truck convoys. Some goods were later reloaded onboard ships to cross the Caspian Sea and others continued their journey by truck. "
    – rs.29
    Aug 17 at 5:47
  • @rs.29 thanks for pointing that out. Last sentence in question updated.
    – Jan
    Aug 17 at 6:29

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