Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Night Steam

You're in for a real treat tonight! Grab a cuppa or a cold one, sit back and enjoy!!

Eritrea Steam 2014

The Eritrean railway was built as of 1885 by the Italians, to narrow-gauge Italian standards (950 mm gauge). The line was built between the harbour of Massawa on the Red Sea and Asmara, the capital of the Italian colony of Erytrea. It was further extended to Keren and finally to Bishia. It was modernised by Mussolini, in the 1930's with a view to invade and colonise Ethiopia. It was destroyed during the Eritrean liberation war and rebuilt thereafter. Nowadays there remains the 118 km line between Asmara and Massawa, some 30 tunnels and 65 bridges or viaducts. At the time of our visit, 4 steam locomotives were serviceable as shown in this video. Still pictures are here:

Eritrea in its region.svg

Eritrea, country of the Horn of Africa, located on the Red Sea. Eritrea’s coastal location has long been important in its history and culture—a fact reflected in its name, which is an Italianized version of Mare Erythraeum, Latin for “Red Sea.” The Red Sea was the route by which Christianity and Islam reached the area, and it was an important trade route that such powers as Turkey, Egypt, and Italy hoped to dominate by seizing control of ports on the Eritrean coast. Those ports promised access to the gold, coffee, and slaves sold by traders in the Ethiopian highlands to the south, and, in the second half of the 20th century, Ethiopia became the power from which the Eritrean people had to free themselves in order to create their own state. In 1993, after a war of independence that lasted nearly three decades, Eritrea became a sovereign country. During the long struggle, the people of Eritrea managed to forge a common national consciousness, but, with peace established, they faced the task of overcoming their ethnic and religious differences in order to raise the country from a poverty made worse by years of drought, neglect, and war. Eritrea’s capital and largest city is Asmara (Asmera).

Population    (2014 est.) 6,536,000

Last Updated: May 6, 2015
The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea. 

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