Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway opens

Africa's first fully electric railway links Ethiopia and Djibouti.

The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway opened on 5 October, linking Ethiopia with neighbouring Djibouti and becoming Africa's first fully electrified cross-border railway line.

The 758-km line links Addis Ababa with the Red Sea port of Djibouti, running parallel to an abandoned railway that was built a century ago.

The $3.4 billion-project was funded by China, and constructed by the China Railway Group and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

The new service, which travels at 120 km/ph, reduces the journey time from three days by road to about 12 hours by train.

Currently the track is only being used for freight, according to the BBC, although daily passenger services are expected to start in three months' time.

The new line will help to drive Ethiopia's economic transformation, said the country's prime minister Hailemariam Dessalegn during the inauguration ceremony at Lebu station in Addis Ababa.

Hailemariam said the train line would enhance the region's global competitiveness as well as promote cooperation between the two nations. He also said that there were plans to introduce similar railway services to other parts of Ethiopia.

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