Sub-Saharan Africa’s first metro is functional

metro HernnPiera flickrSub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system or metro was inaugurated in Addis Ababa, said the head of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation Getachew Betru

The Addis Metro runs 17 km from industrial areas south of Addis Ababa to the centre. A second line that will run east to west, is being built. The two lines can carry around 60,000 passengers an hour when fully operational.

Project authorities said that the rail tramcars rely on power supplied by overhead wires. Eventually, the Addis Metro rail lines will have their own dedicated grid, including four substations to supply 160MW of power. There are 39 stations with a network of alleyways —including 12 escalators and 22 elevators

The transport system was built by the China Railway Group Limited after the Ethiopian government secured 85 per cent of funding from the Export-Import Bank of China. Construction took around three years.

Further on, China will also train the drivers and maintenance staff.

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