Ethio-Djibouti electric rail slated for November

ETHIOPIA – The Ethiopia Railways Corporation (ERC) says the Ethio-Djibouti Chinese-built electric rail line will start its operations in November.

Initially, commercial operations were slated for October but the ERC said proceedings had to be postponed to the following month as they were final touches yet to be completed.

The railway line that stretches for 756km linking Ethiopia and the Red Sea state of Djibouti will be managed by the two countries.

According to the ERC, the two countries met in December 2016 and announced a joint company to manage the railway line.

The ERC also disclosed that 15 passenger locomotives and 15 freight locomotives were used during the tests.

The department has confirmed that 95% of the rail is complete and minor touches just need to be polished before the rail line can be fully utilised.

Although tariffs for passengers and freight are yet to be firmed up, the ERC has confirmed that Ethiopia will produce the electricity to power the system.

The Ethiopian government launched the Ethio-Djibouti railway line in October 2016 as part of efforts to create more business opportunities in an economy that was coming from recession.

The ERC has confirmed that two Chinese firms have been contracted to operate the railway line for at least six years until local employees are fully trained and ready to take over.

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