Flag of Djibouti

Railways in


Train on the Holhol Viaduct
A passenger train of Ethio Djibouti Railways crosses the viaduct near Holhol
hauled by a Chinese built HXD1C 7.2MW Co-Co electric locomotive

The first railway in what was then French Somaliland was a metre gauge line linking the port of Djibouti with Dire Dawa in Ethiopia opened in 1901. About 100km of the 311km line is within the borders of present day Djibouti. An extension to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was completed in 1917.

In the late 20th / early 21st centuries the line deteriorated. Services were erratic, even though some rehabilitation work took place to allow traffic to continue.

In 2016, a new standard (1435mm) gauge electrified railway opened between Djibouti and Addis Ababa, replacing the old metre gauge route. The new line also serves the port of Doraleh, near Djibouti.

There is a long term proposal for a line from Weldiya / Hara Gebeya in Ethiopia to a new port at Tadjurah.

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Flag image from CIA World Factbook
Photo image by Skilla1st from Wikimedia Commons