Ethiopia: Dire Dawa – Railway Station

A French-operates railway used to connect Addis Ababa with Djibouti. The railway was built between 1894-1917 as the only way for Ethiopia to access the see in the French Somaliland (what Djibouti used to be at the time). The railway operated since 1920s well into 2000s, and a weekly service still runs between Dire Dawa and Djibouti. Which is astonishing, since the trains and equipment and the rail lines have never been updated or replaced since 1929. When you come to visit the crumbling railway station, it feels like you are stepping back in time through some type of a time warp. The rail-yard is peppered with old equipment bearing French signs, the way-station has offices of railroad staff with French titles, and the locomotives and carriages are clearly museum pieces. In 2016, the Ethiopian government finally nationalized the railroad from its French ownership. Not this is going to change anything in the future.