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I’m back from my little side trip to the Horn of Africa and will be back cycling out of Istanbul on Monday. In the interim I’ll be putting up a few posts from Ethiopia and Somalia. I’ll keep the text in this post short and sweet and head straight on to the pictures.

The Imperial Railway Company of Ethiopia was founded 1894 with the intention of building a railway running from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to the port of Djibouti in neighbouring French Somaliland (which is now, post colonially, called Djibouti). It was cost prohibitive to run the railway up into the mountains to the city of Harar so the city of Dire Dawa was created nearby to service the line.

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The line has more or less fallen into disrepair with trains on the Addis Ababa-Dire Dawa half being non-existant and availability of the Dire Dawa to Djibouti service varying by the year (Click here for up to date info). The station at Dire Dawa is home to the maintenance yards on top of it’s old world passenger platform. Both the Addis and Dire Dawa stations can be visited as museums but the latter is drastically more interesting with various dilapidated trains and carriages dotted around.

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The maintenance areas were punctuated with these really cool 3D no smoking signs.

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Below is an engine bearing the logo of the Ethio-Djibouti railway company.

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As we were shown through this very old looking 3rd class carriage we were shocked to be informed that this carriage would be departing the next day full of passengers on the 12 hours journey to Djibouti. I do not envy them.

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Below was a particularly interesting find, an old Fiat Rail Bus. As the name implies this single carriage, with it’s own engine, would go along the line much as bus would in-between the larger traditional trains.

Fiat Rail Bus

Fiat Rail Bus

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