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2003 - Part of the family
 
 

Asmara - Ghinda - October 18th 2003

 

"The train will leave at 8:00 but if you want to enjoy the shunting as well you should come at 7:00" Tedros told me yesterday. So I take a taxi to the railway station to be in time not to miss anything. I am the first to arrive, and to see the various activities that make the old train come to live.

At 7:30 the German tourists that booked the Eritrean railways tour of GlobeSteam arrive. Peter Patt explains the rules. It will be a photo trip, so they expect me to stay out of sight. I understand. They traveled thousands of kilometers just to experience the Eritrean railways. Thanks to Travel House International and Peter Patt am lucky I can join them for a fair price. They pay 200 dollars per hour for this trip with the old-timer train.

I follow the group. All eight of them are experienced photographers, so by just imitating them the results must be optimal. Like goats we climb small hills and the ladder to the water tanks to picture the railway equipment from every side, including from above.

The trip to Ghinda takes six hours. The train halts on the most beautiful spots, drives backward and returns to the group of photographers to picture it. The German an Swiss railway fans choose their positions to make the best shots and I follow them, as not to disturb them. On route there is traditional Eritrean style coffee and two girls make sandwiches.

Children wave to the train. For them the train is an adventure as well, because it only passes when chartered. Donkeys, camels and goats dash from the track when the train approaches hissing. The train is thirsty too. At several stops the water tank is refueled. The local population takes this opportunity to fill their water tanks as well. saves them a long walk to the public water supply.

At 14:00 we arrive at the Ghinda railway station. The Toyota bus of the Germans will bring me to the bus station, where I will take the bus back to Asmara. The Germans will continue their program next day with other equipment of the Eritrean Railways.

 

Preparing the locomotive for the trip to Ghinda.

Preparing the locomotive for the trip to Ghinda.

Testing the Italian railcar for future trips to Ghinda and Massawa.

Testing the Italian railcar for future trips to Ghinda and Massawa.

Photo stop between Asmara and Nefasit.

Photo stop between Asmara and Nefasit.

Eritrean coffee ceremony during the trip by train.

Traditional Eritrean coffee ceremony during the trip by train.

Asmara - Ghinda - Over 80 years old driver of the locomotive.

Over 80 years old driver of the locomotive.

Asmara - Ghinda - Over 80 years old driver of the locomotive.

Over 80 years old driver of the locomotive.

Excited children looking at the arrival of the train on one of the railway stations between Asmara and Ghinda.

Excited children looking at the arrival of the train on one
of the railway stations between Asmara and Ghinda.

Asmara - Ghinda. The train passing the mosque of Nefasit.

The train passing the mosque of Nefasit.

Asmara - Ghinda. The train on the edge of the mountain.

The train on the edge of the mountain.

Asmara - Ghinda. The train passing one of the 65 bridges

The train passing one of the 65 bridges.

The landscape around Asmara (on the way back by bus).

The landscape around Asmara (on the way back by bus).

 

 

 
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