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International Railroad Discussion > Ethiopia - land of brand new railways

Date: 11/20/18 13:32
Ethiopia - land of brand new railways
Author: LTCerny

Just got back from a trip to Ethiopia, flying from Wasnington Dulles airport non-stop to Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines.

The new electrified standard gauge line from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, which opened in January this year, drops easterly from about 7,700 feet in elevation down to sea level in 472 miles.  Present traffic is at least one container train in each directon each day, plus every-other-day pasenger service in each direction.  The concept seems to be not to divert traffic from existing truck and bus operations, but to handle all the increases in traffic from a growing economy.  The eastbound passenger train was seen on November 15 near Adama with one locomotive and 11 cars, running on time and looking flawlessly clean and colorful.  This new line is on a completely different alignment from the meter gauge line which was in service from 1917 to 2010.

From near the midpont of the line at the town of Awash, a long branch is being built to the north of Ethiopia, with the first stage to Kombolcha scheduled to open next year.  There has never been a railroad serving the area in which this single-track, electrifieed branch is located.  The sections on the trip seen seemed nearly ready for service.

In Addis Ababa itself, a new (2015) light-rail system radiating in four directions from the city center is in service.  The vehicles are often very crowded, with intervals between trains being about 15 minutes, even in rush hour.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/18 17:13 by LTCerny.

Date: 11/20/18 14:43
Re: Ethiopia - land of brand new railways
Author: utwazoo

Chinese built?

Date: 11/20/18 16:05
Re: Ethiopia - land of brand new railways
Author: inCHI

Yes, it is Chinese built, you can find all sorts of videos online - some of which are videos on board by Ethiopians excited to show off the new service. Some others are certainly Chinese PR. Thanks for the traffic report, that is very interesting. I thought service passenger service was daily. It is certainly a start to have daily freight service - any idea how long that container train is? It is a more Chinese-like length of 50-60 cars?

I also read recently that there are disputes over using Djibouti as a port and that relations with Eritrea have warmed and open up the possibility of using it... but no (new) rail link was built there. The analysis I saw was from the standpoint of the auto industry and suppliers.

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