ETHIOPIA: Awash Woldia/Hara Gebeya Railway Project is a new railway line being constructed between the Ethiopian towns Awash and Woldia.
Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC), the owner of the project, is investing $1.7bn in the project.
The new railway line will connect northern Ethiopia with central region. It will also link the northern and eastern transportation network of Ethiopia.
Background, purpose and benefits of the Awash Woldia/Hara Gebeya railway project
The Ethiopian Government has been undertaking several transportation projects as part of a five-year growth and transformation plan (GTP), which aims to enhance the transportation network within the country by connecting to adjacent countries and ports. It will provide efficient mobility and improve the export and import activities, boosting the economic development. National Railway Network of Ethiopia (NRNE) is one of the several projects constituted in the plan.
ERC has recognised eight railway routes as significant for development. These routes will have a total length of approximately 5,060km including buffer.
NRNE projects will be implemented in two phases. Phase I is composed of five railway projects which include Addis Ababa – Djibouti Railway Project, Mekele – Woldia/Hara Gebeya – Semera-Tadjourah Port Railway Project, Addis Ababa – Ijaji-Jimma-Dima including Jimma – Bedele Railway Project, Awash-Kombolcha-Hara Gebeya Railway Project and Mojo-Shashemene-Arbaminich-Weyto Railway Project.
Phase II includes six projects, Jimma-Guraferda-Dima diorected to Boma , Ijaji-Nekemet-Assosa-Kumuruk, Mekele-Shire, Fenoteselam-Bahirdar-Wereta-Woldia, Wereta Azazo-Metema and Adama-Indeto-Gassera-Ginir.
Line routes and benefits of the Awash Woldia/Hara Gebeya railway project
This project would speed up Ethiopia’s economic growth and development by facilitating for a smooth import-export
The new Awash Woldia/Hara Gebeya Railway Project is an extension project that will connect to Addis Adaba – Djibouti railway line. Awash railway station lies along the railway line from Addis Adaba to Djibouti.
Addis Adaba – Dijbouti is the primary transportation link for mobility of goods and people. The route is also used for import and export purposes through Djibourti port. The 389km-long single railway line will start from the north east of Awash and progress northwards through Kombolcha to reach Woldia.
The line will also link with Woldia/Hara Gebeya- Semera-Dicheto-Elidar project which will connect northern Ethiopia with Tadjurah port in Djibouti. The Woldia/Hara Gebeya- Semera-Dicheto-Elidar project will provide second transport link to the port and enhance the country’s development. All the current design works are subject to changes according to the final design, however.
The new railway line is also expected to contribute to an economic revolution being envisioned by the country. “This project would speed up Ethiopia’s economic growth and development by facilitating for a smooth import-export,” Ethiopian Minister of Transport Workineh Gebeyehu said at the launch.
Infrastructure of ERC’s new railway line
The Awash Woldia / Hara Gebeya railway line involves the construction of 389km of new rail line, 40km maintenance lines and 18km station lines. It also includes construction of new tunnels, three terminal stations with two platforms, and six intermediate stations with a single platform. The total length of the railway line will thus be 447km.
An operation control tower will also be built exclusively for the line. The overhead catenary will provide electricity for the main railway line, depot and stabling lines. Two maintenance facilities, warehouse, generator rooms, maintenance and painting workshop, mechanical service building, wash services, service and commercial buildings will be constructed adjacent to the railway stations.
Contractors involved with ERC’s new $1.7bn railway line
In June 2012, ERC signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract worth $1.7bn for the Awash Woldia/Hara Gebeya railway project with Yapi Merkezi, a company based in Turkey. The contractual terms mandate to complete the construction of the new line within 42 months.
Yapi Merkezi is one of the world’s leading transportation infrastructure companies with a vast experience in rail systems. In addition to the $1.7bn contract signed in Ethiopia, Yapi Merkezi has also successfully completed the Dubai Metro Project, Casablanca tramline and Ankara – Konya high speed rail line, which make Yapi Merkezi a world brand in rail systems.