ADDIS ABABA, Test riding of the Addis Ababa light railway, which was launched on Feb. 1 this year, has been going on without any technical problem, said Behailu Sintayehu, Project Manager of the Addis Ababa Light Railway Transit Project.
The project manager on Sunday told reporters of local and international media, who were on board of a testing ride on the 9 km distance between Kality and Meskel Square in the south section of the corridor.
The 475-million-dollar electrified railway project, with two lines of total length of 32 km, is being contracted by the China Railway Group Limited (CREC) in the capital of the East African nation.
Sintayehu said the testing ride of the rails, which is being underway in the south section, would be extended to the west and north corridors in upcoming days.
“This is one of the test rides we have among the many rides before; since Feb. 1, 2015, this trial ride is undergoing in the south section of the corridor and this will be extended in the upcoming days following the temporary power supply connection to the west and to the north corridors of the light rail lines,” he said.
Asked about any problem during the testing of the railway, the project manager responded saying, “There is no any technical or major problem happened during the trial test.”
He also stated that the light rail system is expected to be connected to the national grid with a dedicated line for power consumption, and no power fluctuation will be at the time when the project goes fully operational.
The light railway transit is designed to solve the transportation problem in the corridors where the project is under construction, he said.
With regard to the enthusiasm of the public, the project manager said the public by the lines of the rails is watching the trials with excitement.
“You can even witness when we drive this, when we do this trial ride, you can see the public outside of the line is just watching with excitement and just taking pictures and so on,” he noted.
Speaking at the official launch of testing the rail in February, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia hailed the project’ s contribution not only to the transportation in Addis Ababa but also to technology and skill transfer in the country.
The Addis Ababa light railway is one of Ethiopia’s mega development projects in the country’s five-year growth and transformation plan, which ends this year.