Gallery N°1 : Structures (C.F.E. period)

Numerous structures, with a total length of 6080 m, ensure the passage of water under the tracks.

On line A from Djibouti to Dire-Dawa :

667 structures, culverts and box culverts from 1m to 30m of which the principal ones are :

Le pont de Chébélé 9m x 16m H 20m PK 22
Le pont de Hol-Hol 8m x 16m H 28m PK 52
Le tunnel du Col du Harr 170m PK 189
Le pont de Andobet 45m PK 233
Le pont de Mello 12m + (2 x 31,5m) PK 246
Oued Harraoua 6m x 12m PK 264
Oued Edgi 2 X 12m  
Oued Tchéfalé 6 X 12m PK 290
Le Laga Haré   PK 291

The viaduct of the Shebelle at 156m long and 20m high, and the viaduct over the Hol-Hol at 138m long and 28m high, are two structures attributed to the engineer Theodore Seyrig of the Eiffel Company.

These two identical projects were designed to simplify on the spot assembly. The soft steel used for the sections and the sheets had a resistance of 42 kg per mm2.

The Hol-Hol bridge took only three months to build. The water required in the construction of these bridges was brought by camel from a spring 12 kilometres away.

The Shebelle viaduct was finished in November 1899.

The Hol-Hol viaduct was inaugurated on 28 August 1900.

On line B from Dire-Dawa to Addis-Ababa :

1252 structures, culverts and box culverts of which the principal ones are :

Le pont de Laga Boré 22m+38+22m H 32m KM 73
Le pont de Oulakiki    
Le pont du Karaba    
Le pont de l'Aouache 42m+57+42m H 60m KM 102
Le pont de la Bola   KM 401
Le pont du Modjo   KM 408
Le pont du Doukham   KM 441
Le pont de Goguetcha    
Le pont de l'Akaki    

Construction of the Awash Bridge was entrusted to the engineer Maxime Charvaut; the work was completed in February 1914.

Following the destruction of this bridge by the Italian army in 1941, South African Army sappers put up a temporary bridge using the location that had originally been surveyed by the CFE many years earlier. Although the CFE ultimately decided against this particular location because the incline there was deemed to be too steep, a speedy reinstatement of the Railway line was essential for the British Army.

The engineers made use of undamaged material recovered from the destroyed structure and following the cantilever principle, were able to erect the temporary bridge within a few weeks. The original bridge would be rebuilt in slower time and was brought back into service in 1946.


Gallery N°2 : Structures (C.D.E. period)

Numerous structures, totalling 6080m, ensure the passage of water under the tracks.

These structures were maintained, and improved, for more than 75 years with the help of French representatives, reflecting the volume of traffic and weight of locomotives.
The end of the reign of the Emperor of Ethiopia in 1974 and, from 1977 onwards, Djibouti's Independence, the Somali-Ethiopian conflict in the Ogaden and the consequences of the then political regime, all contributed through lack of care to the deterioration of these important installations.

A study has been undertaken to improve the route and strengthen the structures. Funds originating from the European Union allowed the repair of 65 steel bridges and the complete overhaul of 25 concrete bridges, most of them situated on the Ethiopian route.

Two Companies were commissioned to undertake these works: an Italian Company, CONSTA MATTIOLI and a Spanish Company, INECO TIFSA. The latter was responsible for :

- Building a new platform crossing the lake of Besaka, to support the rail track of 40 kg/m.
- Building a factory in Dire-Dawa to manufacture 15000 railway sleepers per month, made of monoblock concrete.
- Building a workshop in Doukham, in the suburbs of Addis-Ababa, responsible for the construction and assembly of metallic elements destined for the bridges.