The line, connecting Addis Ababa to the port city of Djibouti, was inaugurated on October 5, 2016 in the presence of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti and other invited guests.
The 752km line is electrified throughout at 25kV ac and double track for the first 115km between Addis Ababa and Adama with single track on the remainder of the route.
China Railway Engineering Group built the 317km Addis Ababa - Me'eso section while China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) won a 1.2 billion US dollars contract in January 2012 to construct the 340km section from Me'eso to Dire Dawa and Dewele on the Djibouti border.
The 3.4 billion US dollars Ethiopian section of the line was 30%-funded by the Ethiopian government and the remainder through a soft loan from China’s Exim bank.
The final 100km section from Dewele to Durale on the Red Sea coast was implemented by the Djibouti government.
The line is planned as the first step in a wider national and eventually regional rail network.
In June 2012 Ethiopian Railways Corporation signed a 1.7 billion US dollars contract for Turkish firm Yapı Merkezi to build a 389 km line starting at Awash on the Djibouti- Addis Ababa line and running north to Woldiya-Hara Gebeya.
Completion is planned for April 2018. China Communications Construction Co is building the next 220 km north from Hara Gebeya to Mekelle under a 1.5 billion US dollars contract.
A line is also planned to run from Hara Gebeya eastwards to the port of Tadjurah in Djibouti, providing a second route to the sea.
Posted by Amare Asrat