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The Ethiopian Railway Construction Project:   

Ethiopia has embarked on an ambitious program to build a huge rail network, over 5, 000 km, which aims to link the capital city, Addis Ababa, with various regions, cities and towns of the country.  Construction of the project was launched in September 2011, as part of the five year Growth and Transportation Program (GTP), which also includes the largest project the country has ever taken so far, building of a huge electric dam (with a capacity of over 5000 kw) on the river Nile (locally known as Abay), which is the longest in the world.    

The rail project is expected to cost the country more than US$1 billion, the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) has announced. ERC has said the rail network will stretch out in eight directions across the country, with a 655.7km track - the longest- between Addis Ababa and Djibouti, which is a vital route to its local and international trade and foreign export market. The Ethiopian rail authority has said it is expected that, when operational, the new railway system would "enable the nation to transport 6 million tons of freight, which in the past has only been impossible by truck".  

The existing 60km rail link between Addis Ababa and Djibouti, which was constructed by Emperor Menelik over 100 years ago has been suspended as it had reached its life expectancy.  Currently, the primary means of freight transportation between Djibouti (a small neighboring country providing the main access port) and the city of Addis Ababa and other regions in Ethiopia is by trucks, which is a huge bottleneck to the country’s rapid economic growth, which has been seen in recent years.

ITS technologies and systems will play a key role in the deployment, operations and maintenance of the huge railway network.  For instance, the communications and control systems of the network will need to use applicable ITS systems to make the network efficient, safe and reliable. 

For the latest information on the Ethiopian Rail Network project, please contact………….. 

      

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