The newly Chinese-built electric rail line between Addis Abeba and Djibouti City is to start operations on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, carrying both commuters and cargo, the Ethiopia Railway Corporation (ERC) announced today.
The service, long-awaited after the rail construction was inaugurated more than a year ago, is expected to cut transport time for cargoes to 12 hours, from two days on trucks. Commuters travelling to Djibouti will pay a 0.69 Br tariff for a kilometre, while the Corporation will charge freights 1.14 Br for a tonne, the Corporation said.
The tariff was disclosed for four stations out of the 19 designated, including Adama, Dire Dawa, Al-Sabeh and Nagad, the last two in Djibouti. The rail trip has three levels, consisting of seats, one-bedroom and a VIP room having two-bedrooms.
It extends 756Km connecting the suberbs of Sebeta in Ethiopia to the Port of Djibouti. It covers 656Km within Ethiopia's borders and streches 100Km inaide Djibouti, extending to Doraleh Multipurpose Port, Doraleh Container and Oil terminals.
The rail line consumed 4.2 billion dollars to complete, of which 70pc was secured from Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of China. Two Chinese companies - China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) - built the railway, which It has been undergoing trials under another Chinese firm, China Association of Railway Engineering Construction, for about a year until the end of November 2017.
The Corporation announced that it will also offer a 50pc discount remaining valid until January 18, 2018.