Addis-Djibouti SGR Line: Cheap is expensive!
ETHIO- DJIBOUTI RAILWAY SUFFERS FROM THEFT AND VANDALISM, LEADING TO HEAVY REVENUE LOSS.
|Workers building embankments |
on the Kenyan SGR
It reported about a meeting held by the Management of Ethiopia Railways Corporation and local residents of the Amhara Region. The purpose was to educate the local people on the benefits of the Railway line and to motivate them to protect it.
The key driver in the implementation of the line appears to have been cost minimization. Cost minimization is the worst decision diver in any project implementation decision. Initial cost minimization could lead to further costs in the future- both financial and economic.
This is the case with the Addis-Djibouti line. The decision to build a low elevation level crossing line with no bridges was a fatal blunder for a high- speed railway line. Engineers tell us that in railways and road projects, bridges raise costs by 30 percent. This is to say that, had the Addis–Djibouti line been elevated even to three meters, the entire project would have cost six to seven billion dollars.
In hindsight then, there was wisdom in the construction of the “expensive” Kenyan line because all these factors were considered and paid for. Perhaps this is why the Central Corridor has a number of underpasses which helps keep its elevation low and costs relatively low.