Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

light rail, proposed interurban

Light Rail

Addis Ababa opened it's first light rail line in September 2015. The second East-West line is expected to open in October The two line system will extend 32 km and serve 39 stations. Three extensions are planned, along with a third "Green" line


A 100km rapid transit link between Addis Ababa and Nazareth is also 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).

Light Rail History in Addis Ababa

Project Director 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 government, 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 in Africa 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 running water, 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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