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Chapters cover the different periods of rule, as well as the technical details, the Ropeway and the Workers

Chapter One

A Description of the line: now known as ‘the Darjeeling of Africa' the main Eritrean Railway was an engineering marvel rising from sea level to 2,300 metres in spectacular mountain scenery.

Chapter Two

The British Military Railway of 1867-1868: Built by the British to supply their military campaign against Emperor Tewodros, this railway has all but vanished today. Read about its construction, length, gauge and suppliers.

Chapter Three

The Italians 1887-1941: the builders with grandiose plans built 307 km of line in what was to be their first steps to conquering Africa. Find out what happened to these plans and how the railway was built.

Chapter Four

The British 1941-1952: after defeating the Italians in some of the grimmest battles of the Second World War, waged around the Railway, the British took a caretaker role with the country and the Railway.

Chapter Five

The Ethiopians 1952-1991: after Federation to Ethiopia in 1952 the Eritrean Railway slid into decline as sabotage, ambushes and opposition to colonial rule gradually brought about its demise. Read the extraordinary account of one major ambush from the man who conducted the operation in 1970, complete with photos taken by the fighters at the time.

Chapter Six

The Eritreans. post 1991: Eritrea now holds the accolade of being the only country in the world to restore a railway with the intention of running it again. Read the details of this rehabilitation carried out in part by very elderly men brought back from retirement.

Chapter Seven

Nuts and Bolts : this chapter covers everything from the gauge, rails, fastenings, stations, water provision, tunnels and bridges, coal, workshops, traffic management, time-tabling and tickets. Learn about some mysteries explained, and some still unsolved.

Chapter Eight

Locomotives and workshops of Ferrovie Eritrea: this chapter covers steam power, non-steam power and rolling stock.

Chapter Nine

Industrial Railways of Eritrea : this chapter covers the 600 mm Decauville lines, the Mersa Fatma to Kolulli line, and the Massawa salt works.

Chapter Ten

The Ropeway: 74.6 km long and stretched across high mountains from the coast to the capital Asmara, this Ropeway was another feat of Italian engineering. Though almost entirely vanished today, its construction in Eritrea symbolised Mussolini's desire for the biggest and the best in building schemes. Built at the same time as Asmara became the Art Deco capital of the world.

Chapter Eleven

The Railway Workers: This special chapter, unusual in most railway books, celebrates the men who worked for the Eritrean Railway, and contains stories, reports, photos and details about their lives. In an oral culture, this chapter records some of the memories that will otherwise be lost to future generations.

The book is accompanied by 30 appendices, a comprehensive bibliography and a Glossary.