The first autorail to link Djibouti, the capital of the Territory of the Afars and Issas, with the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was unloaded at Djibouti port on Sunday (28 July).
The first autorail to link Djibouti, the capital of the Territory of the Afars and Issas, with the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was unloaded at Djibouti port on Sunday (28 July). The 48 ton train will provide a fast passenger service between the two capitals.
Since the closure of the Suez Canal, Djibouti has become somewhat inaccessible to travellers. Shipping traffic through the port has fallen by eighty percent since the Canal was closed, transforming the railway line to Addis Ababa into the Territory's lifeline.
The journey between the two capitals at present takes twenty-four hours. Three to four hours have to be allowed for customs and about 1 1/2 hours for immigration formalities. When the autorail is in operation, the railway authorities hope to clip the journey to twelve hours, providing arrangements can be made for both customs and immigration officials to work on board the train.
SYNOPSIS: The Port of Djibouti, capital of the Territory of Afars and Issas.
The autorail that was unloaded on Sunday will be used on the line between Djibouti and the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to provide a fast passenger service.
Since the Suez Canal was closed, the profits the port earned for the barren French territory have dried up. Without the ships calling to refuel, traffic through Djibouti has fallen by eighty percent. Thousands of jobs have vanished contributing to the city's unemployment rate which now runs at thirty percent, or higher.
The railway line linking Djibouti with Addis Ababa is now the country's economic lifeline.
The hot, dusty, train ride between the two capitals currently takes twenty four hours. With the autorail, the authorities estimate they can halve the traveling time.