Ethiopia-Djibouti rail project complete; to officially open in October

Ethiopia-Djibouti rail project complete; to officially open in October

Sept 26, 2016: A railway line linking Ethiopia, the continent’s second-most populous country, and Djibouti, a small nation in the Horn of Africa, has been completed, drastically cutting Ethiopia’s costs for accessing world markets.

The flagship project, mostly funded by China, is set to officially open in October.The railway line, stretching more than 600 kilometers (373 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa to the Port of Doraleh on the Gulf of Aden, runs on electricity and is environmentally friendly, said Ethiopian Railway Corporation communications officer Dereje Tefera.

Some 90 percent of exports and imports from Ethiopia, a land-locked country, go through Djibouti’s ports.The passenger train has 41 locomotives in total, and each can pull 30 passenger cars, with a 118-seat capacity per car.

The cargo train has the capacity to carry 3,000 tonnes. According to Dereje, the project has a $345 million price tag. China’s EXIM bank covered 70 percent of the total cost while the Ethiopian government put in the balance.

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