Eritrea 2018 - 9: Asmara Workshops II (50 p.)

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Eritrea 2018 - 8: Morning in Asmara I (50 p.)

Video for this series:

October 25 2018

We return to the locomotive depot. 202.008 (former 202.108, Breda/Milano #2454, built in 1937) had taken water in the meantime and performed a few photo departures.

Two class 202s with view towards the station and the Orthodox cathedral.

These wagons just consisting of a frame around benches had been used in regular suburban services 1994-96 hauled by Drewry diesels through Massawa suburbs.

The engine suffering from blocked pipes shunted each freight car separately before our desired wagon could be accessed.

Meanwhile, people started to mow the grass by sickle - in fairness, we were two days ahead of schedule with our shed visit. Like on Cuba, the introduction of scythes could be a sensation here...

We left the station and depot area on the tracks to the workshop and took up position on the opposite side of a pond. 202.008 soon pushed a refrigerator car up the grade...

...rolled back towards the station ...

... and steamed uphill once more.

This football pitch was located on the other side of the track - the empty steel rack in the distance also had been stands. The town district around the station is named "Ferrobia" derived from Italian. The long-time president of Eritrea was born here.

Very cute.

A wall of cactuses and barbed wire has formed around the workshops.

A traverser is located behind the workshops. However, it was so grown over, we had to abandon all hope using it.

Electricity can be generated by steam.

Inside the first workshop. You can spot 202.002 (in front to the right), 202.004 (in the background to the left) and 442.59 (behind to the right).

202.004 opposite 442.59.

An even larger machine hall was located next door, many of the machines stayed covered, in a deep slumber. The traverser could theoretically be accessed through the gates.

Next to known places you can also find stations on the nowadays abandoned part of the line: Keren (Italian version "Cheren") and Agordat.

One tool in use...

We shortly visited the hotel after the morning session, then met for lunch at another restaurant than usual as the garden restaurant was fully booked. The replacement restaurant had its upsides due to its vicinity to one of the main city sights. The former Fiat Tagliero petrol station had been completed in 1938 in the style of Futurism and is part of the Asmara UNESCO world heritage site. The "winged" building supposedly resembles an airplane taking off.

During lunch we learnt that lineside photography would not be possible in the afternoon as well. So, we were invited for a coffee at Cinema/Café Roma. An old projector in the foreground.

We could take a peek into the cinema hall. The TVs were tuned to CNN just reporting about the US mail bombs.

The facade, viewed from the "forbidden" area around the government compound.

We had plenty of time and drove to a market hall near the airport. Eggs arrive as fresh as they get...

Point of interest here is another design petrol station. Next to it, a Fiat 418 Macchi articulated bus previously from Milan.

The unofficial petrol station, obviously without health & safety advisor.

The city stops quite suddenly, this road leads southwards to the Ethiopian border.

One of the old DAF buses still in action. You could see more of them parked at the city transportation company yard on the road towards Massawa.

In reality, Chinese King Long buses take the workload in urban traffic nowadays.

We drove back to the centre.

An urban donkey grazing on the pavement.

Near our hotel, we visited the Alfa Romeo building.

The whole elegant residential area is called "Alfa Romeo district". A British man emerged from one of the villas and told us he was one of only a handful of his compatriots living in Asmara including two diplomats.

Old German cars on the way back to the station.

The "street" towards the station. The station area had been occupied by truck companies from the 1980s to the 2000s, the railway was forced to reclaim the compound.

Still, the access road is lined by parking lorries. A few Mercedes L 1113 can be encountered throughout Eritrea.

The station building welcomed us to the afternoon photo session - Marx, Engels and Lenin still can be recognized on the walls.

Next time, we will visit Asmara in more detail! :) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.