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ETHIOPIA | Railways

63068 Views 68 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  eu01
While it may not be HSR, it certainly is a lot for a country that currently has only one railway line.

Ethiopia launches construction of massive railway network

Sunday 26 September 2010 printSend this article by mail Send

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

September 25, 2010 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia has launched the construction of a 5,000 Km railway complex which is aims to link the capital, Addis Ababa, to various regions of the country, Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) disclosed on Friday.

Officially launching the major railroad project, stretching out in eight directions across the country, Getachew Betru, Director General of ERC, said that the project which will be constructed in two phases.

The first phase of construction will be the construction of five railway tracks, which will create job opportunities for over 300,000 citizens nationwide, and will cost the nation an estimated 6 billion Birr (US$336 million) annually. In addition, the Addis Ababa light train project will open employment opportunity to 5,000 citizens.

Up on completion, the railway system - to replace the limited train transport service in the country – will boost the country’s trade flow, says ERC Board Chairman, Hailemariam Desalegn.

“The new railway network would help a timely stream of goods across the nation and the swift transaction will help traders save time, energy and also it will reduce transport costs,” Desalegn said.

He added that, when functional, the railway system would, “enable the nation to transport 6 million tones of freight which in the past has only been impossible by truck.”

This kind of rail network is designed for speedier passenger transport of between 120km an hour and 160km an hour. Goods or freight engines move on the standard line at between 100km an hour to 120km an hour.

The corporation said that 18 Ethiopian consultant groups and CRGC, a Chinese company, will take part in the construction of the railway project.
It is not yet clear if the project expenses will fully be covered by the Ethiopian government coffers, however sources said that the project has long been on the books.

In May this year, China has granted Ethiopia a loan of more than US$100 million to help to pay for the construction of the railway line.
Ethiopia expects to be classified by the World Bank as lower middle income level by 2015 under the recently launched development and transformation plan (GTP) [] – a new strategy aimed to create an ambitious 15% growth in the Ethiopian economy over the next five years.

The Railway project is part of the country’s five-year transformation plan, designed by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government along with the unpredicted expansion of infrastructure, and a boost to 10,000MW of country’s power production from the current, which stands at about 2,000MW.
A couple of schematics.

First phase, by 2015.

Second phase, by 2020.

The logo of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation. Whether this is something close to a train on the network or just wishful thinking eludes me.
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Did I mention it's being built by China? :lol:
Grand designs from Ethiopian Railway Corp
11 September 2009

ETHIOPIA: Dr Getachew Betru is a man with a vision. As Director of the Ethiopian Railway Corp, he has been charged by the country’s government with planning and developing a 5 000 km standard-gauge rail network over the next seven years.

Through his business at GBA Consultancy, Dr Betru has long been campaigning to improve Ethiopia’s railways, as we reported five years ago (RG 3.04 p126). Whilst there is still not much evidence on the ground, his efforts did result in the appointment in May 2007 of a technical advisory group to prepare ‘an indicative framework on national railway development’.

This in turn led to establishment of ERC in November 2007 as a subsidiary of the Ministry of Transport & Communications. With a paid-up capital of US$750m, ERC was given the remit to design and build both a national railway and an urban light rail network in Addis Abeba.

The national network is intended to support Ethiopia’s agricultural sector, handling export grain and livestock as well as providing ‘high speed, high capacity, competitive and affordable’ transport for passengers. The railway would be electrified throughout and powered from hydroelectric resources - the indefatigable Dr Betru is also a board member at the Ethiopian Electric Power Corp.

With limited resources and expertise of its own, ERC is dependent on external assistance, so it is not surprising to hear that a steady stream of consultants and contractors has been knocking on Dr Betru’s door. Amongst the latest to express interest is India’s Overseas Investment Alliance, which has been supplying electrical transmission and distribution systems to EEPCo under a 2006 agreement worth US$65m. OIA also signed an agreement in May with the government of Djibouti to undertake feasibility studies for a standard-gauge link into the region’s main port.

Meanwhile, work is underway to revitalise the 781 km metre-gauge Djibouti-Ethiopian Railway. Services on the western end of the route to Addis Abeba have been suspended, so that Costa of Italy and Ineco-SPT of Spain can press on with an 18-month infrastructure renewal programme funded by a €50m grant from the European Union. According to CDE General Manager, To’om Terie, this should allow the line to carry around 10 trains per day.

Work is currently in progress around Metahara, where embankments are being strengthened and new bridges built. Around 25 000 concrete sleepers are being laid to replace steel, and the remaining 20 kg/m rail is being replaced by 40 kg/m on about a third of the route. However, the project is reportedly running three months behind schedule after claims that some of the track alignments had been miscalculated.

But the urgency of the upgrading has been emphasised by a string of derailments between Dire Dawa and Djibouti, where the trains are still operating, carrying fruit and vegetables, coffee and livestock for export and returning with construction materials. At the end of July a Djibouti-bound freight train carrying 1 000 tonnes of export coffee and livestock left the rails, killing 13 nomads who were apparently riding for free and injuring a further 20 people including the train crew.
Did I mention it's being built by China? :lol:
no need for that, it's obvious!

goog for Ethiopia!
no need for that, it's obvious!

goog for Ethiopia!
Yes, they do seem to be building everyone's railroads these days...

Will keep you folks updated!
News by

Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency
Djibouti: Dire Dawa - Djibouti Railways Resumes Service

Ayele Wondwosen, Head of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Organization told members of the press that maintenance of the old railway line from Dire Dawa to Djibouti has now been completed and trial operations have started.

The trains will carry passengers from Dire Dawa to Djibouti three days a week. According to Ayele, delay in the maintenance being carried out by an Italian company contracted to overhaul 100 kms of line out of a total of 208 kms within Ethiopia was the reason why the service had been suspended.

The company had taken six years to carry out the job rather than the three years originally expected.

The re-start of the rail service is expected to have a major role in resuscitating the economy of Dire Dawa which is home to many Djiboutians who spend the summer in Dire Dawa.

The Ethio-Djibouti Railway started service in 1890 during the reign of Emperor Menelik II.

Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency
Ethiopia: AA-LRT Project to Be Completed After Two Years

The Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) said that the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT) project is being executed according to schedule despite the heavy rainy season.

According to Behailu Sintayehu, Project Manager, the project would be completed after two years. The 34km double track electrified light rail transit project 43 percent of whose construction has already been done is expected to cross all 10 sub cities of Addis Ababa.

On completion, AA-LRT is expected to operate 18 hours a day using 41 light trains thereby transporting 60,000 commuters per hour.

Every locomotive would travel 70kms per hour pulling a three-room car with more than 300 seats. At all stations, a train is expected every three to six minutes.

Reporter: Natinael Tsegaye
Is that rail network being connected to the sea, possibly via Dschibuti and/or Kenia?
Is that rail network being connected to the sea, possibly via Dschibuti and/or Kenia?
It is already connected! Read the article two posts up from your own :)

The wiki artcile seems somewhat reliable:
When I was there about two years ago the whole rail network was pretty much dysfunctional.
Prequel to news cited yesterday:

Agreement Signed For US$2 Billion Chinese Loan For 756-KM Addis-Djibouti

ADDIS ABABA, May 23 (BERNAMA-NNN-ENA) -- Ethiopia, Djibouti and China have signed an agreement for a loan of more than US$2.0 billion from China's Export-Import Bank for the construction of the 756-kilometre Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway project.

The loan will also cover the cost of the remaining 100 km of the railway projectthat extends from the Ethiopian border with Djibouti to the Port of Dorrale in Djibouti.

The project will play a pivotal role in reducing the time for landlocked Ethiopia to access the Djibouti port and contribute to the economic growth of Ethiopia.

The agreement was signed here Wednesday by the Chief Executive officer of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation, Dr. Getachew Betru, the Minister of Economy and Finance of Djibouti, llyas Moussa Dawazeh, and the China EXIM Bank Vice-President, Zhu Xinqiang, and witnessed by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and other officials.


On January 29, 2014 In Ethiopia

The Addis-Ababa to Djibouti railway, currently being rebuilt from metre-gauge to standard 1,435mm, is to get new coaches. This has to happen of course, because nothing existing in the country will fit the wider gauge. Thirty vehicles are to be supplied by CNR Changchun, two of them diners. Twenty will be economy class with what the Chinese call “hard seats”; four will be “hard sleepers”, and four “soft sleepers”.
- See more at:

Company Catalogue . I don't know which "25 Serie" will be delivered.

CNR Dalian locomotives exported to Ethiopia
22 Mar 2014

CNR Dalian is supplying three diesel locomotives for use in Ethiopia by China Civil Engineering Construction Corp

ETHIOPIA: CNR Dalian is supplying three diesel locomotives for use by contractor China Civil Engineering Construction Corp during the construction of the standard gauge route which is to replace the out-of-use metre gauge line from Djibouti to Addis Abeba.

The 2 940 kW locomotives have 16V240ZJD engines and a maximum speed of 100 km/h. They are designed to operate in temperatures of 50°C and altitudes of 2 000 m, and have two level of air filtration to handle the dusty environment.

When ambient temperatures exceed 40°C the onboard computer can automatically adjust the output power of the main generator to optimise performance. The air-conditioned cab has a double roof for temperature insulation
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From Railway Gazette:

Addis Abeba - Djibouti electric locomotives ordered
30 Jun 2014

ETHIOPIA: A contract for CSR Zhuzhou to supply 35 electric locomotives for the future Addis Abeba – Djibouti standard gauge line was signed on June 19.

Delivery of the three passenger locomotives and 32 freight locos able to haul trains of up to 4 000 tonnes will begin in October 2015, ahead of the planned opening of the line in 2016.

CSR said the 7·2 MW locomotives would be based on proven technology, drawing on designs developed for South Africa and adapted for local conditions. These include the 2 000 m altitude difference along the 850 km route, and the desert environment with strong sunlight and daytime temperatures of 50° C contrasting with cold nights
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The last few artivles posted have all been about the Addis Abeba - Djibuti line. The older news mentioned 4 other lines stretching out from Addis. Any news concerning those lines?
From Rail Journal:

New Ethiopian line to be equipped with ERTMS
Thursday, October 09, 2014

YAPI Merkezi, Turkey, which is constructing a $US 1.7bn railway in Ethiopia, has awarded Bombardier a €36m contract to install ERTMS.

Bombardier will install ETCS Level 1 on the new line. The contract includes the supply of lineside signalling, interlockings, level crossing equipment, and CTC. The line will run from Awash, on the Addis Ababa – Djibouti line, which is also under construction, north to Weldia.

Construction of the 389km single-track standard-gauge electrified line started in 2012 and the project is due to be completed by the end of 2015
So China is funding Ethiopia's rail system & providing the locomotives and the signalling system will be the EU standard?
Yet another country not forced by the EU to adopt ERTMS is adopting it anyway. This time a system basically funded by the Chinese? Europe and China seem to both be pushing for ERTMS and it seems to be taking over in many parts of the world (if slowly).
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So China is funding Ethiopia's rail system & providing the locomotives and the signalling system will be the EU standard?
Yet another country not forced by the EU to adopt ERTMS is adopting it anyway. This time a system basically funded by the Chinese? Europe and China seem to both be pushing for ERTMS and it seems to be taking over in many parts of the world (if slowly).
I don't know, but soon we will have war of signals:)
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