The Railway of Ethiopia

Back in November of last year Nadine and I visited her parents who were working in Addis Ababa.
We spent just over a week with them travelling around parts of the country. On one of the mad journeys around Addis we decided to have a look at the train station.
(The images files are large so if you have a slow connection they may take a while to load, sorry, but feel free to print or use as you like.)

The facade of Addis Ababa Station
The facade of Addis Ababa Station

There is only one station in Addis, there is only really one line in Ethiopia, and that is the line to Djibouti.
The station has not seen a train service in many years and looks abandoned, however as we approached the building a man comes out to say hello and ask us what we are doing. We ask if we can have a look around and to our surprise he seems only too keen to give us a tour.
So we go through the main building and out on to the platform.
The abandonded platform
The abandonded platform

Looking along the platform towards the museum
Looking along the platform towards the museum

It is clean and tidy and it is this chaps job to make sure the place is kept looking respectable. After standing on the platform for a few minutes thinking ‘well that was interesting’ he beckons us to follow him down the track towards some buildings.
Some point work for the spotters!
Some point work for the spotters!

I am a very untrusting sort and thought this looked a little dodgy, but the wife and in laws, who are a bit more used to this sort of thing, set off after him.
As we are walking he says he wants to show us the imperial carriages, which are in a museum at the end of the sidings.
Sure enough, there is a little museum, all locked up, with four carriages in it. They do look quite grand compared to their surroundings but I don’t think they have turned a wheel for a very long time.
The Rail Way Museum and the Imperial Carriges
The Rail Way Museum and the Imperial Carriges

He then shows us some other rather old vehicles that are slowly rotting away in the yard before heading back to the station building.
Never complain about a Pacer again!
Never complain about a Pacer again!

He tells us that there are plans afoot to get the line back into use to reconnect Addis with Djibouti, but that may take a while to sort out, in the mean time he just looks after the abandoned station and gets a few Birr or Dollars of any tourists who are interested.
The age of steam lives on (kinda)
The age of steam lives on (kinda)

A rather old section of rail, I'm sure the underground can beat this though?
A rather old section of rail, I'm sure the underground can beat this though?

Lots of track, no trains!
Lots of track, no trains!

Wagons with no where to go
Wagons with no where to go

This little visit was one of those completely unexpected delights of our trip to Ethiopia, yes I am a fan of railways, but the history of why the station was built, why it is no longer in use and the fact it connects two countries who are effectively now at war made this quite a special afternoon in Addis Ababa.