The construction of the Railway line was begun in the autumn of 1887. In March l888 the first 25 km were opened to traffic. The construction went slowly but steadily; Asmara was reached in December of 1911, and the present terminus at Agordat in February 1928.
Line open to traffic:
|1)||Massawa - Asmara||117.600 km|
|2)||Asmara - Agordat||188.800 km|
|Massawa - Agordat||306.100 km|
|3)||Route, sidings, and loops||361.130 km|
PERMANENT WAY MATERIAL
Three types of flat bottomed rails are in use and are known by the names
of the districts where they were employed.
|Dogali type||Length 7.30 meters
Few are now in use only in sidings.
|Weight 22 kg per meter.|
|Eritrean type.||Length 9.00 meters.||Weight 24.90 kg per meter.|
|Agordat type||Length 9.00 meters.||Weight 27.30 kg per meter.|
Clips and bolts. Various types in use for widening gauge on curves.
Steel sleepers are employed almost exclusively and are of three types.
|Eritrean type||Length l.60 meters.||Weight 24.90 kg|
|Agordat type||Length 1.80 meters.||Weight 40.4 kg|
|Dum Sleepers||0.20 x 0.13 x 1.80||Weight 50 kg|
|Spacing||13 Sleepers to 9 meters rail,
17 Sleepers to 12 meters rail,
Average 1430 per km.
Ballast is obtained from local stone found at line side and broken 5 cm. diam., depth of ballast about 25 cms.
Distance between stations.
|Massawa – Mai Atal||km||29.247|
|Mai Atal – Ghinda||40.120|
|Ghinda – Asmara||48.233||km||117.600|
|Asmara – Keren||km||104.130|
|Keren – Hummed||26.375|
|Hummed – Agordat||58.295||km||188.800|
|Total Massawa - Agordat||km||306.400|
MASSAWA – ASMARA SECTION
THE ASMARA – AGORDAT SECTION
The maximum axle load allowed is 12 tons, all lines.