The Project is located at Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on the plateau with an altitude of 2400 meters. In order to effectively solve the traffic problems in the central area of Addis Ababa, which is also the headquarter of the African Union, Ethiopian government decides to build the light rail transit project.
Two LRT lines are planned for Addis Ababa, including the East-West Line and the North-South Line, with a total length of about 75km. At present, the East-West Line and North-South Line (Phase I)Projects are being implemented, with a total length of 31.048 km. With a common-rail sections of 2.662 km in the central urban area, the East-West Line and the North-South Line (Phase I) have totally 39 stations, including nine elevated stations, one underground station, two semi-underground stations and 27 ground stations. Kality Depot is arranged at the south end of the North-South Line, Ayat Depot is arranged at the east end of the East-West Line, and the control center is located in Kality Depot. The whole line is provided with 20 substations (including two substations for the depot and 18 substations for the main track). The power supply mode is completely compensated simple contact line mode using 750V DC overhead contact system and running track for returning; the vehicles are 70% low-floor double-hinged six-axle LRT vehicles and 41 trains of vehicles are configured at the preliminary stage; the signaling system is a fixed blocking ATC system mainly comprising an ATS, a main track interlocking system and a depot interlocking system, etc. as well as an intermittent type ATP system as required by the owner.
The total investment of the Project is US$475 million. The Project was commenced on January 31, 2012 and completed on December 30, 2015. The operation of the North-South Line was started on September 20, 2015 and the East-West Line launched on November 10, 2015.
The Engineering Procurement Construction Contractor is China Railway Group Limited Corporation (CREC), of which the subordinate China Railway No.2 Group Co., Ltd. and China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co., Ltd. assign relevant personnel to jointly establish the Project Management Department of CREC Ethiopia LRT Project at the project location to represent the CREC to perform the EPC contract.
As the headquarter of African Union, Addis Ababa is a window for China to display its image, development level and cooperation concept to the world. Addis Ababa LRT Project is the first modern rail transit project of the city and an important project marking the city moving toward the modern development, therefore, it shall have a sense of modernity, style and advancement. The LRT project is designed with harmonious style and color for the whole line, using yellow and green, the colors on Ethiopia national flag as the main color for stations, handrails and vehicles.
The overall station building is shaped like a “sprout” breaking the earth, symbolizing the LRT project is a beautiful start leading the city moving toward booming economy and displays the concept of “green and ecology”.
Constructors from China Railway Group Limited has overcome numerous difficulties, such as the long length, big project scale, hard task, tight schedule, deficient material, low efficiency of local laborers as well as the demolition, and finally created an engineering miracle there.
The Chinese standards have been adopted for the entire project design and construction; all the main material (engineering equipments and machinery, steel bars, tracks, cables, etc.), locomotive equipments, equipments of power supply and communication are all imported from China.
Large-scale innovations have been applied in aspects such as vehicle- building technology, railway design in plateau mountainous area and construction technology, to match with local environment and conditions. Meanwhile, goals on cost reduction, technology optimization and integration as well as construction of green travel have been achieved successfully.
During the one and half year operation, the LRT Project has kept a good condition. The current passenger flow stays in an amount of 90, 000-110,000 per day. By the end of April 2017, the accumulative passenger flow has reached 60 million.