This super-scenic railway traverses remote valleys, skirting Lorestan’s peaks and navigating dozens of tunnels. Most trains run in the evening, but a day service departs Andimeshk at 5.30am, returning from Dorud at 2pm. The journey is a cultural experience but also an endurance test, with the train often overcrowded to the point of mayhem and the timetabled 5¼-hour trip taking nearer seven hours.
The tiny village of Bisheh (Bishehpuran) hides one of Iran’s prettiest waterfalls. It cascades in 30m chutes off a tree-topped gully, then trickles in rivulets into the river below. In summer many local tourists make the scenic day trip from Dorud (train only at 2pm, 30 minutes) or Khorramabad (new road, no public transport). By autumn only their litter remains and you’ll have the village to yourself, with the entire population of children following you Pied Piper style. The best waterfall views are from across the river using a new footbridge at the northern edge of the village. The day train offers fabulous glimpses of ziggurat-shaped Mt Parvis en route. If the trains are on time, you’ll have an ample 4½ hours in Bisheh before the 7pm Tehran-bound train arrives to take you back to Dorud.
The railway does a switchback at Sepid Dasht, the biggest village along the way. Sepid Dasht itself isn’t architecturally attractive, but its mountain backdrop is spectacularly spiky. Rare savaris bump their way to Khorramabad on a scenic road that passes close to the Gerit Falls.
Of anywhere along the line, isolated Talezang, three hours north of Andimeshk, is the most tempting hop-off point for trekking into the mountain wilderness. One hiking challenge is to make for Shevi Waterfall, which emerges directly as a spring from a cliff, then falls around 100m in a wide sweep. The waterfall is reportedly around five hours' walk from Talezang with some climbing involved. You can camp here; bring food and a tent.