The first phase of the Chinese funded Addis Ababa Light Railway in the Ethiopian capital has been completed and its first test run last week proved to be a success.

The railway includes two lines that cross at Meskel Square, an iconic open space at the city’s center and is expected to carry 7500 passengers daily.

It is expected to ease traffic congestion and boost the local economy.

The US$ 475million project is Africa’s first light rail system, and an impressive sign of Ethiopia’s progress since the dark days of famine and military rule in the 1980s.

Built by China Railway Group Limited, the 31-kilometre light rail has several advantages including a higher carrying capacity, less pollution, low energy consumption, and high safety standards, which means it’s quite suitable for cities like Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopia’s capital, located at a high altitude of 2400 meters, is one of the political centers in East Africa, and home to the headquarters of the African Union.

The rail line will officially open to traffic in May just in time for the national elections in Ethiopia.

Source: China Radio International
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