The government of Tanzania has plans to launch the second phase of the construction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) line. The project intends to link the commercial city of Dar es Salaam and the capital of Dodoma.
Speaking during the Eighth East and Central Africa Roads and Rail Infrastructure Summit opening in Dar es Salaam Prof Makame Mbarawa, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications did confirm the construction will commence next month.
Phase II of the standard gauge railway stretches from Morogoro to Dodoma, a distance of 336 km. Additionally, once the project is complete, Tanzania has plans to introduce a fast and modern train. The train has a capacity speed of 160kph. On the other side the freight train will have a top speed of 120kph.
“We expect to see this railway line link Tanzania with other regional, landlocked states including Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Zambia and Uganda through quick and timely access from Tanzania’s Indian Ocean ports,” said Prof Mbarawa
Project financial support
However, Tanzania is still seeking financial support for the US$1.2bn project. In April this year President John Magufuli did launch phase I of the SGR project. The president did approach the World Bank and the government of South Africa for support.
The SGR project is under the execution of Yapi Merkez Insaat Ve Sanayi, a Turkish construction together with Mota-Engil, Engenharie and Construcao Africa, SA of Portugal.
Dr Magufuli had asked President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to help Tanzania in lobbying for loans from the BRICS-run New Development Bank which South Africa is a member. He also requested the World Bank president, Dr Jim Yong Kim to help in financing the project. Both President Zuma and Mr. Jim Yong did visit Tanzania this year.
Stretching 1,057km from Dar es Salaam to the shores of Lake Victoria, the construction is on the same line with the Central Railway (CR) Line built. The Germans did construct the CR in 1905 from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma. Also, the British colonial government did take over from Tabora to Mwanza a stretch of 427km.
In its plans to revive rail transport through the SGR, the government is consulting the parliament seeking to form the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) that will replace the Reli Assets Holding Company (Rahco) and Tanzania Railway Ltd (TRL).