Event archive

Event Organiser: Railway Civil Engineers’ Association

Plan, process & governance of a modern railway in Ethiopia, London

  • Lecture
  • London
  • 23 January 2020
  • 18:00 - 20:00
Plan, process & governance of a modern railway in Ethiopia, London

About this event

In the past two decades Ethiopia has experienced unprecedented economic growth which has been acknowledged by the leading international multilateral financial institutions.. This economic growth called for the modernization of Ethiopia’s national transport system, particularly the distance heavy freight haulage, intercity mass passenger traffic and urban mass transport. In Ethiopia, significant proportion of the transport system utilizes road mode of transport.

Transporting heavyweight cargo for more than 200km using trucks consuming diesel fuel is three to four times expensive compared with transporting the same cargo with electrified railway. The use of trucks to transport heavy haulage and large buses for mass passenger traffic involves a complex chain of operators that are not working properly and environmentally damaging. Ethiopia also spends most of its hard-earned export income on purchasing diesel fuel which is largely consumed by heavy lorries and large Buses. Equally, Ethiopia invested on large hydropower dams producing renewable source of energy that can be used by electrified railways and Light Rail Transit for mass passenger transport in the urban setting, which is agreeable with the environment and relatively inexpensive.

It was with the above background that rail transport was chosen as alternative means of national transport system for heavy distance haulage and the launching of the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) was considered in 2007. Since its establishment, ERC has accomplished its objectives.

It worked with Lean Management, Fast Track Project Management principles, Prudent Financial system and built Local Railway Industry Capacity.

This presentation will delve the plan, governance, process, operation and maintenance of the Electrified Standard Gauge Railway (ESGR) projects implemented in Ethiopia by ERC between 2007 -20017. The projects comprise five EPC Turnkey Contracts (1), The Addis Ababa-Mieso railway project 317 km, (100km double & 217 km single track). (2), Meiso- Ethio-Djibouti boarder 339km single track SGR project. (3), Awash to Woldey/Haragbeya 400km single track, and (4) Woldeya/Haragebeya project single track 260km, totally 1316 km main line ESGR projects. (5), ERC’s mandate also included the implementation of the urban mass transport and the building of the 34 km Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. In addition to the above ERC has been studying the planning of the future development of three new mega railway projects including: - (1), Mojo-Moyale 900km; (2), Addis-Ababa to Jima –Bedele (750km) South Sudan boarder, & (3) Assayta to Woldeya-Woreta-Bahairdar (770km) SGR projects, all single track under negotiation.


Dr Getachew Betru (PhD, MSc, MSc, BSc. Hons, CQP, MCQI)

Getachew Betru

Dr Betru is the founding GM and former CEO (2007- 2017) of ERC. He was responsible for the conceptualisation , choices of technology and the implementation of the 34 km of Addia Ababa Light Rail Transit (AA-LRT) project and for the planning and implimentation of 3750km of main line railway program in Ethiopia and the building of 1316km modern Electrified Standard Gauge Railway (ESGR) 120km/h including the 765km Addis Abeba Dijibouti ESGR project; 400km Awash Woldeya and 260km Woldeya Mekele ESGR projects.

Dr Getachew Betru came to Britain in 1979 to study GCSE A levels at East Devon College of Futher Education, Teverton, Devon. He then joined Leeds Universuty to read BSc Hons in Civil Engineering. He continued to study MSc in Soil Mechanics and PhD in Civil Engineering at H-W University in Edinburgh. He also read MSc in Construction Manegment at Kingston Universty in England, UK and is a current member of the Chartered Institute of Quality, London, with a post- nominals, CQP MCQI.

Dr Betru worked in the UK at different capacity and moved to his country of origion in 1997 and started his own company the GBA Consultancy LTD in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. While managing his company he was involved in the consultancy service provision of the design and construction management of various infrastructure projects including key role Road Sector Development Program, Energy Projects and the promotion of the building of modern railway in Ethiopia. He also worked as member of The Management Board of the Ethiopian Electricity and Power Coroporation (EEPCO) between 2001 -2007.

Event venue

Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Elira Alushi

e: [email protected]