light rail under construction, proposed interurban
A 100km rapid transit link between Addis Ababa and Nazareth is being
developed as a joint effort of the Ethiopian government and various
private sector interests.
The 15 station line, more of an interurban than light rail, would use
either new rail track parallel
to the existing Ethio-Djibouti Railway, or updated track to the existing
railway. Services would run every 10 minutes, serving
stations in Meskel Flower, Gottera, Ring Road, Kaliti, Akake, Dukem,
Debre Ziet and Mojo. Also included would be an electric trolleybus
feeder system. Power would be supplied by the Ethiopian
Electric & Power Authority (EEPA).
Dr Getachew Betru of GBA Consultancy, who rumour has it also
sits on the board of the EEPA, says the line would be built
by a public-private partnership and take two years to
complete. Dr. Betru claimed the project. already endorsed by the
is due to begin construction in
March of 2005.
As of mid-2011, no project had begun. It appeared the Ethiopian
government had chosen, and very foolishly might I add, to focus on
frivolities like food and shelter rather than the desperately needed
metro. In 2010, the government realized the importance of mass transit over food and housing by declaring that a 2 line, 30 km light rail system would be built, thanks to a massive loan from China. Part of the loan will be paid back in raw materiels. When criticized by the West for enaging in a Chinese colonialist mentality, the Ethiopian
president wisely stated "Itís in their (Chinaís) interest to spend tens of billions of dollars
and itís in our interest to have access to those tens of billions of dollars.Ē Which is very similar to what I told that collector from Capital One a few nights ago.
For all those doubting Solomons and Biruks, work on the 37.38 km Addis Express was already underway in December 2011, when the contract was awarded to China Railway Eryuan Engineering, which
begs one to wonder if the award was somewhat of a formality. The first section
of the two line system is expected to open in 2013. While construction did not begin until October 2012, the Chinese engineering
firm moved into an old military base at Mashualeka in March 2012 in preparation to convert
the facility into the light rail's construction headquarters.
In December 2012, a controversy arose as to whether a statue of King Menelik in Adwa Square would be damaged. Assurances were given by the government that the good king's effigy would be just fine and dandy. Of more interest to
true subway fans, the announcement included that a 2 km subway tunnel was already being dug underneath the square. The tunnel will include one subway station and is the longest of several tunnels along the line.
Unfortunately, many residents enjoy
substandard housing without
so the prospect of a new rail line seems unusual.
Ethiopia also claims to have three subways, but they are in reality three different mountain tunnels.
Project description from Addis Ababa Online
Official Project Description from Ethiopian Railways
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