Gallery N°40 : Passenger cars (C.F.E. period)

The importance of the Franco-Ethiopian Railway Company which ran the line connecting the port of Djibouti with Ethiopia increased from day to day. Thanks to it, Ethiopia had found an outlet to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean for most of its products.

As far as passenger transport was concerned, regular trains were placed at the front of the convoys starting from the stations of Djibouti or Addis Ababa. The first part of the trip from Djibouti to Dire-Dawa was done by night, then by day To Addis Ababa, with a brief buffet stop at Awash. Starting in 1938 certain day trips were operated by FIAT Littorine Railcars, then circa 1965 by Fast Billard railcars.

Night trains were always mixed, passengers and goods. They included luxurious and comfortable 1st class cars "lit-salon" and mixed "couchette" cars for 1st and 2nd class . Day trains, rarely mixed, were composed of 3rd class cars. They provided a regular service for passengers living in the suburbs of the various big towns.

1st class "Lit-salon" cars :

- Built in the workshops of "La Buire" in 1913. They were later reconditioned and modernised in 1954 in the CFE workshops.

Mixed 1st and 2nd class Cars, first series :

- Built in the workshops of "La Buire" in 1912.

Mixed 1st and 2nd class Cars, second series :

- Built by Decauville in 1925, Baume-Marpent and A.F.B. in Raismes in 1937.

Third Class cars :

- Built in the workshops of "La Buire" in Lyon in 1912, Baume-Marpent and Decauville in 1926.

Third Class cars :

- Built by the Carel and Fouché companies. Nine were bought second-hand in 1947 from the Sarthe Railways and later transformed into maintenance or emergency cars.

1st and 2nd class Cars with two axles :

- Built by La Buire and Decauville in 1900. They were placed among the passenger cars. Withdrawn from passenger service from 1946 and reinstated as comfortable studio offices for the paymaster on the line.

3rd class metallic cars :

- They were built by Decauville in 1955 to replace the wooden 3rd class cars.


Gallery N°41 : Passenger cars (C.D.E. period)

The entire stock of passenger coaches at the time of the Franco-Ethiopian Railway included all categories, from the luxury of the saloon-sleeping coaches to the 3rd Class coach.

The Djibouto-Ethiopian Railway retained only the 3rd Class metal Decauville type coaches, widely used by most of the French speaking African countries.

Due to the political ideology during the years of the Somalo-Ethiopian conflict, no repairs were undertaken correctly. Lacking spare parts, the stock of coaches were neglected and heavily reduced. The Dire Dawa workshops, lacking funds and forced to meet demand, transformed wooden boxcars which had originally been manufactured by the workshops of Strasburg in 1937, into relatively unsophisticated passenger coaches.

The majority of passenger trains, running in either direction, on the Djibouti-Dire Dawa route were mixed with mail cars. This was because these trains only operated during daylight for security reasons.

The introduction of the much faster railcars on the Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa route allowed the passengers to complete the journey by day.