Facts About The High-speed Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway Project

Here are some things you need to know about the Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway line modernization, according to Railway-Technology.com:

  • It’s is the first modern electrified railway line in East Africa.
  • It’s jointly owned the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti with construction by China Railway Group and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.
  • The first freight services on the line began in November 2015.
  • The line was formally inaugurated for passenger services in October 2016.
  • The railway connecting Ethiopia with Djibouti via Dire Dawa is a 780 kilometer gauge line opened in 1917.
  • Modernisation involved replacing the meter-gauge section with a 1,435 mm gauge line, and electrification at 25kV. Designed to accommodate trains travelling at 120 kilometers an hour, the new line was constructed in compliance with Chinese electrified railway standards.
  • Chinese staff will manage operations on the line for five years. Local employees will be given specialist training on the operations.
  • Construction on the Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway project began in 2011 and was completed in October 2016.
  • It involved laying double track for the first 115 km from Addis Ababa to Adama, and single track for the remaining 600 km to Djibouti. The construction employed approximately 20,000 local workers in Ethiopia and 5,000 in Djibouti.
  • CSR Zhuzhou was awarded a contract to provide three passenger and 32 freight electric locomotives for the Ethiopia-Djibouti line in June 2014. The rolling stock consists of first and second-class coaches, dining cars and potentially sleeping cars. Read more on this.