ETHIOPIA: A contract for CSR Zhuzhou to supply 35 electric locomotives for the future Addis Abeba – Djibouti standard gauge line was signed on June 19.

Delivery of the three passenger locomotives and 32 freight locos able to haul trains of up to 4 000 tonnes will begin in October 2015, ahead of the planned opening of the line in 2016.

CSR said the 7·2 MW locomotives would be based on proven technology, drawing on designs developed for South Africa and adapted for local conditions. These include the 2 000 m altitude difference along the 850 km route, and the desert environment with strong sunlight and daytime temperatures of 50° C contrasting with cold nights.