Ethio-Djibouti railway line to commence services early next month

Addis Ababa, October 11, 2017 (FBC) –The Ethio-Djibouti railway line, the first of its kind project in Sub-Saharan Africa, will begin service as of November 8, 2017, according to the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC).

This was revealed at a discussion underway in Adama town, Oromia regional state, with people living in the areas where the railway line stretched.

In the discussion which attracted stakeholders, including acting General Manager of ERC, Dr Berhanu Besha, it was indicated that all problems which contributed  for the delay of the service will be addressed until late this month. 

Dr Berhanu said problems associated with electric power supply to the line has been resolved as Ethiopia agreed to supply power and the cost to be dealt as per the power purchase agreement previously concluded between the two countries.

He further said the construction of railway tracks, which could link the port and fuel oil storage depots to the main railway line, is nearing completion. Tariffs for passengers' and freight services have been prepared and it is under discussion.

Responding to concerns raised by participants on lack of sufficient routes and overpasses as well as rail stations, he said standard routes, overpasses and tunnels were built at every 1.5 kilometer distance along the line.

However, additional routes, overpasses and tunnels could be built if the Corporation believes that they are necessary, he said.

Regarding railway stations, Dr Berhanu said, initially, the Corporation planned to build 30 stations but based on the study conducted by financiers and taking into account the economic activities in the areas, they were reduced to 16.

The Ethio-Djibouti railway line is currently conducting the final test run of 120-km per hour.

The railway line is left with only one month to commence services. However, there are unfinished works, which include establishment of a company which will mange the operation of the line.

Translated and posted by Amare Asrat