Railway Projects in Ethiopia

As a landlocked country, Ethiopia primarily uses the port of Djibouti for 90% of its international trade, with most of the goods transported to and from the port by trucks before the opening of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway in 2017. However, many parts of the country are still only connected by road, which make trade logistics costly and uncompetitive. Since 2015, Ethiopia is following its USD 2 billion National Logistics Development Strategy, which is an integral part of its national development plan (Growth and Transformation Plan I & II). Under this strategy, the expansion of the rail network to 1,545km is a key aspect to enhance the country’s export competitiveness by significantly reducing trade logistic costs. Rail connectivity is to ensure linkages between the seven major dry ports and cities of the country.

Railway in operation

Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway (759 km length, total cost USD 3,4 billion):

  • Connects Addis Ababa to Djibouti Port, forms the basis for the development of an economic corridor along the train line, including through industrial parks.

Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit:

  • Two lines with a total length of 34 km provide an affordable, reliable and efficient public transportation solution for Ethiopia’s booming capital Addis Ababa. The first phase was completed in 2015 with a second phase in planning.  

Railway under construction

Awash-Woldiya/Haragebya Railway Project (375 km):

  • Standard gauge, fully electrified, to be used for freight and passenger transportation
  • Cuts travel time from Djibouti port to Northern Ethiopia by 50%, help develop the infrastructure connectivity in the northern region of the country.

Railways in planning

  • Addis Ababa-Jimma-Dima Railway Project (connection to South Sudan, length 740 km, 25 stations)
  • Addis Ababa-Mojo-Hawassa-Konso-Moyale Railway Project (connection to Kenya, length 976 km, 11 stations)
  • Woldiya/Haragebya-Asayta Railway Project (length 218 km)
  • Asayta-Tadjourah Port Railway Project  (connection to Djibouti, length 215 km, 9 stations)


  • Establishment of Logistics Centres to facilitate the expected 10 million tons of shipment to and from neighboring Port cities (Djibouti, Kenya) connecting different industrial and agro-processing parks in Ethiopia.
  • Provision of services for planning, development, and design of railway projects.
  • Supply of railway technologies such as locomotives and smart rail ticketing systems.
  • Providing multi-modal transportation solution enhancing the logistics service in the region.
  • Providing financial solutions to the planned rail projects.