Railway enthusiasts and people interested in the history of the Horn of Africa will enjoy a new website dedicated to the railway linking the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to the port of Djibouti on the Indian Ocean. Created by Jean-Pierre Crozet of France, whose grandfather worked on the French-built railway from 1929-1954, the internet portal in French contains a comprehensive history of the 800-km line as well as a selection of historic and more recent photos documenting its over 100-year history.
Jointly owned and run by the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti, today the railway provides a poor but important service for landlocked Ethiopia particularly in light of the ongoing border crisis with Eritrea. In 2006 it was announced that South African railway operator COMAZAR was to take over the running of the line for 25 years. However it seems the agreement has since fallen through and much of the rehabilitation programme planned under that deal has been put on hold pending the identification of a new private operator to manage the line.