Ayele Wondwosen, Head of the Ethio-Djibouti Railway Organization told members of the press that maintenance of the old railway line from Dire Dawa to Djibouti has now been completed and trial operations have started.
The trains will carry passengers from Dire Dawa to Djibouti three days a week. According to Ayele, delay in the maintenance being carried out by an Italian company contracted to overhaul 100 kms of line out of a total of 208 kms within Ethiopia was the reason why the service had been suspended.
The company had taken six years to carry out the job rather than the three years originally expected.
The re-start of the rail service is expected to have a major role in resuscitating the economy of Dire Dawa which is home to many Djiboutians who spend the summer in Dire Dawa.
The Ethio-Djibouti Railway started service in 1890 during the reign of Emperor Menelik II.