The International Steam Pages

Ethiopian Metre Gauge Relics 2019 

With the completion of the new 'Chinese' standard gauge railway between Addis Ababa and Djibouti in 2017, the original metre gauge was effectively rendered redundant. However, Wikiopedia carries 2018 reports that local services survive between the Djibouti border and Dire Dawa with plans to rehabilitate the section on to Mieso.

In November 2019, Thomas Kautzor (along with Torsten Schneider) visited the country and has provided the notes and pictures on which this page is based.

At Addis Ababa much of the infrastructure has been destroyed and basically only the old station building (including the Lion of Judea statue) remains. Here there is a tender off one of the Haine St Pierre Pacifics: Below is Charles Small's picture of 233 taken in 1954:

At the time of the visit, the old 'Musee du Chemin De Fer Voiture Imperiale' survived and some pictures appear below. However, by the time this page appears it is expected that they will have been moved to Unity Park and the whole area turned over to an Arab investor.

The Davenport locomotive frame at Dire Dawa was cut up a long time ago. The four wheelsets have been put on display in front of the St. Mikael Church. One of them is marked with both locomotive numbers, 425 and 426. The other stamped numbers (D 8560 C, D8552S) have no relation to the Davenport builders' numbers (3070-3076 of 1946) or anything else I can think of.

There is a Davenport tender here largely obstructed by other abandoned stock, also a tender tank which looks similar to the tender at Addis Ababa. Otherwise all remains of the railway's steam locomotives have vanished. I assume that, as in many places, some of the boilers may have survived in industrial service.

Rob Dickinson