The Ethio-Djibouti railway track has been readied for full service the coming year, according to the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC).
The corporation disclosed that over 98 per cent of the installation work has been finalized.
Besides facilitating economic integration, the rail transport service will cut travel time from several days to less than a day, according to ERC Chief Communication Service Officer Dereje Tefera.
The electrified railway also contributes substantially in saving foreign currency expended for diesel fuel and reduces air pollution.
Ethiopia is heavily investing in infrastructure to improve its transport accessibility, Dereje said, adding the implementation of the Ethio-Djibouti railroad project demonstrated continued government commitment to infrastructure.
Since 90 per cent of Ethiopia’s import-export items are carried via the Ethio-Djibouti route, the full functioning of the rail transport will avoid delays in transportation of goods.
A total of 1,171 wagons and locomotives are required to start full service on the Ethio-Djibouti railway line, the Officer said.
The wagons will each have the capacity to transport over 3,500 tons at a time.
The passenger trains are equipped with various facilities including beds, kitchen, VIP seats, and toilets, among others.
Speeding at 120km/hr, the passenger locomotives each have the capacity to carry 113 to 168 passengers.
The project comprises 19 stations whose construction work has been finalized, Dereje said, mentioning the 16,000 jobs created by the project.
China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) contracted the project which consumed USD 3.4 billion.