Ethiopia to Build 34 Km Light Railway Transit (LRT) System to Transport 80,000 People Per Hour

Photo: Addis Ababa Light Rail Train at Mexico Square

By Dawit Taye
Jan. 18, 2013

2.6 bln birr slated for interchanges, roundabouts

With a view to ensure smooth traffic flow in the metropolis, the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) has budgeted some 2.6 billion birr for the construction of interchanges and roundabouts that are part of the Addis Ababa Light Railway Transit (LRT) project. The project is expected to be financed by the Addis Ababa City Administration and the federal government.

So far, the budget for the construction has not been secured. Once the funding is obtained AACRA intends to award the project to a construction company without issuing a bid.

The city roads authority has plans to invite experienced and capable international contractors to undertake the difficult project, Engineer Fekade Haile, general manager of AACRA, told The Reporter.

“We expect to commence the project in April once a contractor is selected,” he added.
Fekade said that the main challenge will be the major water pipelines that are found around the Megenagna and Mexico Square areas.

It is to be recalled that representatives of the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), the Chinese company that is undertaking the LRT project, expressed concern that unless the interchanges and roundabouts are constructed alongside the LRT the execution of the project will be delayed.

The LRT, which has a total length of 34.35 km, has two routes – a 16.9-km section running from north to south, and a 17.35-km section stretching from east to west. The two sections run parallel for 2.7 km.

The LRT will have a total of 41 cars, each with the capacity to carry 286 passengers at a time. This will enable the LRT to provide transportation to 15,000 people an hour, in one direction, and 60,000 in all four directions.

Photo: Addis Ababa Light Rail Train at Mexico Square

Photo: Addis Ababa Light Rail Train at Urael Square

The project is expected to consume more than USD 400 million, with the Ethiopian government covering 15 percent of the cost, and the Chinese Export and Import (EXIM) bank covering the remaining.

Source: The Reporter


Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT) Project

  • Electrified light rail transit
  • Total length of 34.25 km (North-South line 16.9 km and East-West line 17.35 km)
  • Two lines (i.e. North-South and East-West lines) use common track of about 2.7km.
  • Standard Gauge (1.435 meters) and Double track for the whole route
  • Capacity of 80,000 PPH (Passenger/hr)

Special Features of the Project

  • Performs on steep gradient and sharp curves
  • Urban Mass Transport for Addis Ababa city
  • Enhances the image of Addis Ababa as the political capital of Africa
  • Reduces carbon dioxide emission (environmentally friendly)