Does this line still exist? I was reading a guidebook, published in 2005 which recommends avoiding the train (implying that the train exists), I've done a bit of a search for info but can find nothing on timetables etc, seat 61 doesn't mention it and finally tonight I had a look on google earth at both ends of the line and it looks like its been lifted.
It looks like a mixed train still runs between Djibouti and Dire Daoua, but the train from Dire Daoua and Addis Abeba is freight only.
There's plenty to see on Google Earth in both Djibouti and Dire Daoua railwise. It would be an interesting trip!
In Dire Daoua yard you can see more than twenty diesel locomotives in a couple of sidings and another two near the loco servicing facility.
South Africa: Mbeki Determined to Hold on to Railway Concession
Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)
8 October 2007
Posted to the web 9 October 2007
Tamrat G. Giorgis
South African businessman Moeletsi Mbeki appears determined to hold on to the concession to manage the Ethio-Djibout Railway Company for the next 25 years, even after both countries agreed his consortium of companies is not up to the task.
Mr. Mbeki, the younger brother of South Africa's President, visited Addis Abeba briefly last week, meeting Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, for over two hours, reliable sources disclosed to Fortune. Accompanied by South Africa's Ambassador to Ethiopia, the meeting was arranged through the Embassy following a June decision by the two governments to revoke COMAZAR, Mr. Mbeki's joint venture company, its preferred bidder status.
The two governments subsequently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOA) with a Kuwaiti company, Al-Ghanim & Sons Group, in Djibouti on July 28. The agreement gave the company an exclusive right to submit a bid for the concession within six months, sources disclosed.
Ethiopia - New deal for Ethio-Djibouti railway
By Muluken Yewondwossen
The Ethio-Djibouti Railway Authority has begun talks with the Fuad Algarim Group, a Kuwaiti company, to give a concession for twenty years. According to our source from the Ethiopia Djibouti Railway Authority, the discussion is promising.
The source said that the company will improve the system and import modern locomotives because the existing are old and of poor quality.
The source noted that the rail transportation sector will compete with other forms of transportation provided that the talks become fruitful.
COMAZAR, a South African registered company was negotiating over the concession with Ethiopia and Djibouti for three months but it could not make a deal.
In related news, the Ethio Djibouti railway rehabilitation project will be completed by June 2009. The project includes the changing of old and damaged tracks and bridges of the 114 km of line. On this project, nine concrete bridges will be replaced and another forty metal bridges will be strengthened.
The line that is to be replaced and strengthened is from Hurso to Lassarat. “When this rehabilitation project is completed, the speed of the trains will increase and the derailment reduced,” Solomon Eshetu, the project manager said.
Currently the strength of this 114 km railway line is 20 kg/m and this will increase to 40 kg/m, increasing the carrying capacity and speed of trains.
Currently the project contractor company is completing construction of a factory that produces concrete sleepers to replace the old metallic sleepers of the 114 km railway line.
The railway line around Beseka lake near the city of Metehara has been made safer with a 3 meter high bridge.
The European Union funded fifty mln Euro for this project, including the supervision. The rehabilitation work is carried out by Consta, an Italian company and the supervisor is INECU-SPT, from Spain.
The Ethio Djibouti Railway Authority gives its transport services twice a week from Dire Dawa to Djibouti, while it transports people and goods to Kaliti, the industrial town found 25 Km from Addis, only once a week ever since the work on Gotera Road Inter Exchange project has been started
Italian Consta JV Subcontracts Railway Rehab to Mesfin Industrial
Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)
25 February 2008
By Wudineh Zenebe
Consta Joint Venture (JV), a subsidiary of Italian Consta Consortium, subcontracted Mesfin Industrial Engineering, a subsidiary of EFFORT, to construct bridges on the Ethio-Djibouti Railway with a cost of 40 million Br. Consta has earlier taken the rehabilitation project of the Railway that is to be carried out in two phases.
Consta is slated to repair almost 103 Km of damaged line on the Djibouti-Dire Dawa section and 12 Km on the Dire Dawa-Addis Abeba line.
It will also repair 65 steel bridges treating them against corrosion and replace 25 bridges with new concrete models. Seven of the bridges are in Djibouti, the remaining 83 within Ethiopia.
"This project is advantageous for Mesfin Industrial as it will gain valuable experience," Getachew Belay, general manager of EFFORT, told Fortune. "We hope that we will work together with Consta on other projects too."
The European Union (EU) provides 50 million dollars for the project. Seven European companies contended in the construction bid while only Sur Construction participated from local contractors.
Consta is one of the top contractor groups in Italy with specialisation in civil works, infrastructure, rail works and residential buildings. With a turnover of almost 400 million dollars per year, Consta Consortium is able to provide, through its companies, Mattioli SpA (civil and railway works), STE (electrical and hydraulic plants, power supply and infrastructure and renewable energies) and Solar SpA (residential building and geotechnical works).
Long Track Behind
Swedish advisor of Emperor Menelik, Alfred Elg, and his French partner, Liyena Shefne, took a 99-year concession in 1886 to create it the 781 Kms Railway Imperial Ethiopian Railway Company established in June 1896 Railway entered Dire Dawa in 1902, 15 years before it had reached Addis Abeba
Railway reached Addis Abeba in May 1909, starting from six metres above sea level to an altitude of 2,480m
Railway was by Ethiopia and France jointly owned Railway after their respective governments signed a treaty on November 12, 1959. The 4.3 million Br capital was equally raised from both governments to run a company that had 34 diesel locomotives, and three railcars with 16 coaches, transporting close to half a million passengers
Limited rehabilitation works of rails and bridges damaged as a result of Ethio-Somalian war in the early 1970s
Consta has established and inaugurated a 110 million Br sleeper factory on February 16, 2008, in the Railway Enterprise's premises in Dire Dawa, 501 Km east of Addis Abeba, in accordance with its agreement with the Railway Enterprise.
Te'um Teke, general manager of the Enterprise, disclosed to Fortune that the Enterprise has rented offices, residential houses and the plot where the factory lies with one million Birr.
According to the technical proposal offered by Consta, the rehabilitation of the Railway depends on the sleeper factory in Dire Dawa, which produces 15,000 concrete monoblock sleepers monthly.
According to Te'um, the price of steel is increasing globally, which makes the sleeper factory crucial.
Carli Guido, project manager of Consta JV, told Fortune that the factory is among the newest in the world.
According to Mr. Guido there is a plan to produce concrete for electric poles and prefabricated houses changing with different moulds.
The Ethio-Djibouti Railway, which is over 100 years, has deteriorated immensely over the years as its cross bars, which should weigh 40 Kg per metre are now less than 30 Kg. This forces the reduction of permissible loads.
Junedin Sado, minister of Transport and Communication, told Fortune that the government has focused on enhancing the railway network, a vision in which the sleeper factory is integral.
For proposed Red Sea Bridge, see:
http://enr.construction.com/news/intl/archives/070501.asp With Aerial Photo.
The Middle East, Arabia, and connections to Europe are all 1435m so the Red Sea bridge would be 1435mm (though dual gauge would be possible).
Southern Africa has too much Cape Gauge 1067mm to warrant conversion, which leaves 4 in between countries (TZ, ET, UG and KE) that might convert either way to SG or CG to reduce the number of breaks of gauge.
As a minimum, upgrading works should allow for dual gauge.
Ethio-Djibouti railway rehabilitation well underway
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Addis Ababa, August 17 (WIC) – The rehabilitation of the old Ethio-Djibouti railway trucks is well underway with 40 million Euro, Ethio-Djibouti Railway Enterprise General Manager disclosed.
Enterprise General Manager Ti’ume Tekle told WIC the 114 Km rail truck in need of rehabilitation out of the 781 Km long rail and the rebuilding of 40 bridges is going on very well.
The maintenance and reconstruction of the more than hundred years old trucks is progressing according to plan, the General Manager said, adding that it will be finalized and go operational next year.
As the maintenance is given special attention, the Enterprise is constructing new rail trucks at some particular places, according to the General Manager.
The Enterprise is currently providing cargo service from the port of Djibouti to Diredawa and will extend the service to Addis Ababa, he indicated.
Alongside the maintenance and reconstruction of worn out rail trucks, preparations are underway to raise the number of cargos and locomotives as well as to update its communication methods, according to the General Manager.
Representative of the Italian based Construction Company, CONSTA Joint Venture, on his part said the maintenance and reconstruction of the railway is going on well and will be completed according to plan. The maintenance is carried out with the state-of-the-art technology and the company intends to take up contracts in other railway constructions, the representative indicated.
Employees of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Enterprise are doing their levels best to improve and scale up its services, it was learnt.
The concrete sleeper plant is at Dire Dawa where there already is a cement works.
Al-Ghanim and Sons Group, a Kuwaiti company which was negotiating with the transport ministers of Djibouti and Ethiopia to acquire the management of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Enterprise through a concession has lost the deal for failing to meet deadlines.
The governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti had committed themselves to avoid looking for other options as long as the company was working on schedule to take the management of the Enterprise. However, the company has lost this privilege as it is not doing well within the schedule, according to knowledgeable sources.
“If they had been on schedule, they would have retained the exclusive right,” Getachew Mengste, state minister for Transport and Communications, told Fortune. The company does not seem to have the interest, according to him.
“If they come again, we will accept them,” Getachew said.
The fact that the project is not going as per schedule has not only been a challenge to the governments of the two countries, but has also become a source of trouble to the Enterprise.
Tuem Tekie, head of the Enterprise, took the initiative and organized a meeting that was held from December 29-30, 2008 in Dire Dawa Town, mid-point along the Ethio-Djibouti Railway line. The meeting was attended by transport ministers of the two countries and other experts.
It was during this meeting that Tuem mentioned that the railway is not functioning but managed to pay salaries, thereby depleting its resources.
“There should be a company to administer the enterprise by concession,” Tuem told Fortune.
Al- Ghanim should have submitted a feasibility study to the ministries of the two nations and started taking over the administration by December 31, 2008 at the latest. But, the negotiations have not proceeded well and the deadline was not met.
Realizing that the Kuwaiti company is no longer interested, the transport ministers of the countries said, at the Dire Dawa meeting, they would openly look for potential investors to take over the railway concession deal, sources who attended the meeting told Fortune.
Al-Ghanim is not the first company that had been interested to take over the management of the railway enterprise and failed. A South African company, Comozor, had earlier won a tender floated for the management concession of the enterprise.
Comozor negotiated for one year, and while it was expected to sign the final agreement for concession in June 2007, the company declined the offer.
Thus, a delegation led by Junedin Sado, then minister of Transport and Communications, along with its Djiboutian counterpart negotiated with the Al-Ghanim and Sons Group. The latter expressed interest.
Nevertheless, neither Junedin nor his successor, Driba Kuma, is likely see the good result they have been looking for from the enterprise, perhaps for years to come. At the Dire Dawa meeting, Diriba said he would continue to seek for other potential investors.
A new railway project to connect Addis Ababa with Djibouti was unveiled on Wednesday. The railway is part of Ethiopia’s program to build infrastructure.
The first phase of the railway project constitutes of a 1.2 billion dollar investment covering 670 Kilometres according to Getachew Bertu General Manager of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation. The Corporation is confident that the project will be completed in the three years set out he said.
A significant amount of the money required to construct the railway will be a loan from China with the Ethiopian government covering the difference.
The project will be overseen by Russian experts according to Getachew.
The actual construction will be done by China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC).
It is to be remembered that Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA), an Indian contractor, was awarded a 78 million dollar project to design and survey the Mekelle-Djibouti railway line by the Ethiopian government last May.
The plan includes the construction of 34km of light railway lines and 2,395km of national railway lines in two development routes.
The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway is part of the government's plan to lay down 5,000km of railway lines along seven economically important routes. And sources say that the government is considering another railway to Kenya.
The Ethiopian Railway Corp (ERC) had awarded contracts for the design, survey, and supervision of four railway tracks to 18 contractors in September last year.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency