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Africa's first electric rail line put to use

Staff Writer |
Three heat-resistant locomotives tailor-made for Ethiopia have been put to use on Africa's first electric rail line.

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The locomotives, designed and manufactured by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, have gone through a series of tests on the line linking Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, with Djibouti City, capital of the Republic of Djibouti. The line runs through a plateau and desert region and is very demanding technically.

"Thermostability is particularly important as in summer the temperature can be as high as 50 degrees Celsius, along with huge day-night and seasonal temperature differences," said technical expert Kang Mingming with CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive.

He said the locomotives have been put to use in Ethiopia on Thursday local time for passenger transportation.

Thirty-two locomotives for cargo transportation, each with a power of 7,200 kilowatt, will be delivered soon.

Once put to use, these locomotives will significantly improve Ethiopia's cargo transportation efficiency and trade cooperation with neighboring countries, said Kang.

The trunk line across East Africa is 752.7 km long and cost $4 billion. Trains can travel at a designed speed of 120 km per hour.

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