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Biruk Terrefe @terrefebiruk
, 11 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
Used the #Addis-#Djibouti #Railway for the first time yesterday - it was a pleasant ride. The 8 hour journey started at Lebu Furi Station at 7am and arrived in Dire Dawa at 3pm. A visual thread of the the experience below!
Having bought my ticket at the ticket office, and water from the vendor outside, I waited in the station itself for the train. The station was well equipped.
Boarding was smooth, not too many people around this early on a Monday.
Ended up sitting with a group of Chinese journalists until #Adama who wanted to report about the railway and collect voices „from below“.
Passing through Oromia, Amhara, Afar and the Somali Region, it was fascinating to watch the various people of Ethiopia observe this carrier of state narratives pass their towns/villages/houses. A sense of inclusion for some & exclusion for others visible in their demeanor.
Life onboard was as exciting, with many getting off in Adama and many students getting on headed for the start of the semester in Dire Dawa. The railway was well equipped (except no operational catering service yet).
The remnants of the old railway also ran in parellel for most of the trip. „The past is not even the past, it is still with us.“ Applies to many things in #Ethiopia.
We didn’t hit any animals, but go to see some, including from your usual donkeys and dromedaries to the quite rare Ethiopian fox running away from the tracks.
Pulling into Dire Dawa in the afternoon, we passed by the new #IndustrialPark. I am always astounded by the krass contrasts in this country. Going from dessert and pastorialist housing to this in less than 2 minutes.
Getting off at #DireDawa station was smooth. A large group of people go on headed towards #Djibouti.
I won’t delve further into a socio-economic or political analysis of this railway in this thread (of which there are plenty). Sometimes it’s also just necessary to appreciate that Ethiopia has an operational railway, that let’s me travel 580km for just 308birr.
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