Ethiopia: Halfway point reached in Addis Ababa Light Rail public transportation project

February 15, 2014

Africa, International

Ethiopia: Halfway point reached in Addis Ababa Light Rail public transportation project

By Yonas Mulatu
Addis Fortune

ADDIS ABABA- The Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) says 50 percent of the Addis Ababa Light Railway project (LRT) has been completed.

The construction of railway tracks for the 34.25 km (21.28 miles) of electric railway line has been undertaken in four directions in the city. Currently, over 6 km (3.72 miles) of railway tracks have been laid. Telephone and electric lines, as well as water pipelines, are also being laid side by side with the railway project, Abebe Mihretu, public relations service head with the Corporation, said in a press briefing held at the Council’s City Hall, located in the Piazza area of Arada District, on, January 20, 2014.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Corporation expresses confidence in finishing the capital’ railway system by 2015.

“Otherwise, the ongoing construction will not stop even for a minute,” Abebe said. “In fact, the contractor has been making utmost efforts to finalize the project ahead of schedule.”

Round the clock work is being carried out on some spots to speed up the completion time, Abebe said.

Currently, the difficult part of the work, which is the construction of bridges and caves, is completed. In some areas, 17m (55.7ft) to 22m (72.17ft) deep excavation have been taking place to erect bridges.

The project, which when completed could transport 80,000 passengers an hour, began in January 2012. It was estimated to cost 475 million dollars and is being overseen by the Corporation. Fifteen pc of the overall budget for the project comes from the Ethiopian Government and the rest by the Exim Bank of China.

The administration of the electric railway line will go either to the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) or the Corporation. So far, however, the issue remains undecided.

The North-South route begins at Menelik II Square in Piazza and ends at Kaliti, while the East-West route connects Ayat Village to Tor Hailoch. Additional lines from Menelik II Square to Shiro Meda, to the North; Kaliti to Gelan, to the South and Tor Hailoch to Lebu, to the South West, will be added to the design at a later stage.

While China Railway Group Limited (CREG) won the contract for the construction of the lines, it was the Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC) that was charged with supplying the tracks and the trains to transport passengers. Once complete, the tracks will be of standard size (1.435m wide/4.7ft wide) double track for the whole route.

Simultaneously, the corporation has been working with various stakeholders to prepare pathways and roads for pedestrians and vehicles, Abebe said.

Pedestrians can cross the railway either through passages left for cars and other vehicles, or alternatively through the railway stations. All the stations will have an entrance and exit from both sides of the road. The project comprises of a total of 39 stations and 18 sub-stations.

The Corporation plans to carry out Phase Two of the LRT by Ethiopians.

“To make this come true, the Corporation has been working hand in hand with the Addis Ababa University (AAU)’s Institute of Technology in training students with the basic engineering fields related to trains and railways,” says Abebe.

The Corporation describes the project as eco-friendly, since it is free from sound and air pollution.

Aside from the Addis Ababa Light Railway project, the ERC is also overseeing construction of the National Railway Project, which will connect the country through a network of eight railway corridors. The total length of the tracks will be 4,744km (2,947.78 miles). The track and trains for the National Railway project will be imported from a Chinese company.

Addis Ababa light rail construction
Addis Ababa rail

Addis Ababa rail

Addis Ababa rail

Addis Ababa rail

Addis Ababa rail

Addis Ababa rail
Video: Addis Ababa Railway Construction
Opening ceremony of the track laying was officially commenced for the Addis Ababa Light Railway Project or a sample installation 30 October, 2013.

Video: Ethiopia – Animation and progress of Addis Ababa Light Rail project

Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa skyline

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One Comment on “Ethiopia: Halfway point reached in Addis Ababa Light Rail public transportation project”

  1. addis ababa guy Says:

    I also recommend to check how public transport works in the meantime:

    From my experience, the light rail system will help some subcities, however others such as Lafto will be excluded.

    BTW: It is unfortunate that some of the old tracks (corridors) have not been reused for this project.


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