Ethiopia on Sunday inaugurated a modern rail project that has been constructed by the China Railway Group (CREC) in the capital of the east African country.
The electrified Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT) is the first light railway on the African continent with two lines of a total length of 34 km.
Of the two rail lines, the east-west corridor extends 17.35 km, stretching from Ayat Village to Tor Hailoch, and passes through Megenagna, Legehar and Mexico Square; and the north-south line is 16.9 km in length, passing through Menelik II Square, Merkato, Lideta, Legehar, Meskel Square, Gotera and Kaliti.
China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. has carried out the Gas Insulated Substations (GISs) that are meant to supply power to the AA-LRT.
Having launched its trial operation in February this year, the AA-LRT has officially commenced its operation with a color ceremony held in Addis Ababa,the seat of the African Union.
Cutting the ribbon with other officials of Ethiopia and that of Chinese companies, Workneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopian Minister of Transport, noted that the project is a historic accomplishment in Ethiopia and a landmark phenomenon to the country’s transportation sector in particular.
The minister has congratulated and commended all parties involved in the construction of the railway project, and the residents of Addis Ababa for dedication to and cooperation to the realization of the project.
“Today is one of the best memorable day in Ethiopian transport history, thanks to all stakeholders and participants in this project. Congratulations Ethiopians,” said the minister.
He told reporter that the project would be contributing to the improvement of transport services in Addis Ababa.
“This is very modern light railway, which will be serving the capital city of Ethiopia, and at the same time the capital city of Africa. So, we are very proud of that,” added the minister.
Stating that the AA-LRT is a big step to modernize the city and to solve its transportation problem, the minister said the government would soon launch the second phase of the light rail project.
“This is also another tourist destination, especially this is a big step to modernize the city, a big step to solve transport problem in this country, in this city,” said the minister.
Each train with a capacity of carrying 300 passengers at a time, the AA-LRT project will provide services to about 60,000 passengers per day, according to the minister.
Residents in Ethiopia’s capital express joy over operation of Chinese-built rail project.