Question: I'll be travelling in Iran in May as a single female traveller. Would I be guaranteed to share compartment with women? Would it be ok to take the train from Tabriz? I'll be stopping by Tehran and get my ticket there in advance. How many sleep in the same compartment? Is it common/advisable to buy more than one seat to secure a little leg space?
I speak Arabic, but I've heard it won't be of much help in Iran.. True or false?
Answer: From Tehran to Damascus takes about 60 hours by train. From Tehran the train goes at 9 pm on Monday and from Tabriz at 11 AM on Tuesday and you will arrive in Damascus on Thursday. The train on the Iranian side to both Syria and Istanbul consists of 4-berthed compartments, 2 each side on different heights which can be converted to beds for sleeping.
Fortunately, you have the option of booking female-only compartments. On the Syrian side the train has 2 parts, a part without bed and the other with 2-birthed compartments.You can book an extra seat, but it does not give you more leg space when you want to sleep as the beds are apart from each other. For more information you can check this site: http://www.uppersia.com/Iran-transport-services/iran-train-ticket-booking-service.html
Although there are many Arabic words used in Farsi language, the structure of the two languages are quite different. However, your Arabic knowledge can be helpful specially knowing Arabic alphabet mostly in the southwestern cities like Ahwaz and Abadan with the dominant Arab citizens. But in general English will be more helpful.
Check the cheapest Iran tours at http://www.uppersia.com/Iran-tours