In the middle of a quiet and unassuming village near the railway station of Tehran, an elderly man in a blue shirt, black jacket and black tie stands outside a closed-off railway station.
He explains that, as the name suggests, the railway is a train station for passengers travelling from the capital Tehran to other cities in Iran.
The station, which opened in 2011, serves as a stopover for many passengers who arrive at Tehran from other parts of the country, including Iran’s western province of Gharbabad.
But, unlike many other railway stations, the station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“When you come to the station, you don’t go straight to the gate.
You go up, and then you go down,” says Mohammad Asghar, who has been staying at the station since he was a child.
“We used to go to the railway stations of Tehran and Mashhad.
But it’s more difficult to travel from Tehran to Mashhad now.”‘
A very old-fashioned station’ In his view, the new station is a very old fashioned one.
“The railway station is built with bricks and stone,” he says.
“I’m sure you can’t find it anywhere else.
It’s a very modern railway station, but it’s not a very ordinary station.”
The station has been designed by architect Mohammad Nourijad and features a modern design with two glass-walled corridors that run parallel to one another and a modern, steel-frame walkway that opens up onto a large, open platform.
“This is a new station.
It hasn’t been opened in 25 years,” says Asghars father, Nouri.
“It’s a new idea and I’m glad that they’re opening it now.”
The station is situated on the edge of the railway tracks that run through the middle section of the village.
“Many villages don’t have a railway, so this station is really special.
It has a new feeling to it,” says Amir Akhbar, who was born and raised in the village and now works at the railway.
“As you come from the north to the south, there’s a lot of traffic, so it’s a place where people are happy to stop and talk.”
Railway station in Tehran Photograph: Al Jazeera’s Ali Jadali in Tehran and Asghari in MashhadAghar is one of the few people who regularly visits the station.
“Sometimes, when I go to Mashandar or Gharborabad, I go there,” he explains.
“But now, we have to travel all the way from the west to the east.”
The opening of the station in 2011 has meant that many travellers from Mashandark and other parts are now able to access the station from Mashhad and Gharbourabad, making it easier to travel to the capital.
“At first, the area around the station was very rural,” Asgharis father says.
But in recent years, it has become a bustling hub of Iranian life.
The village of Bala, which is a few kilometres away from the station and about 30km from Gharbalabad, is also now home to a number of businesses and restaurants.
“Nowadays, everyone comes here, and there are more restaurants and shops,” says a woman, who goes by the name of Azadi.
Azadi says that the station has become so popular that she has started a bar in the station’s kitchen, offering customers a selection of local cuisine.
The station is the gateway to the city of Shiraz, the capital of Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan.
“Since the station opened, we’ve become a lot more settled here.
We have our own restaurants, we own our own houses, and we have a lot to do,” says Azadi, who is also a former official of the Iranian railways.
“Today, there are so many young people here, so many families are living here.
There’s a big increase in the number of people who work here.”
At the station entrance, the people are not afraid of being seen.
“A lot of people are here.
If you’re wearing a hat, you’ll be seen,” says the young woman who has a large bag of food on her shoulder.
“Some people come here just to take photos.
You just don’t need to be afraid.”
Railroad station in Mashandabad Asgharin says that she sees a lot fewer young people and older people than she used to see, and the people in the town of Baliya are also happy to welcome visitors.
“There used to be many more young people, but now we’re not so many,” she says.
“I love visiting the station,” Asguar says.
He adds that, while he’s not sure what the opening of his old railway station means for him personally, he feels that it will bring a sense of tranquility and prosperity to his