Tanzania’s standard gauge railway (SGR) is set to undergo its first formal testing. SGR project manager Machibya Masanja revealed the plans and said the test will be conducted in May after completion of the construction of the first phase in April.
The test runs will be done for a period of three months before the railway’s official inauguration, which will allow goods and passenger services to commence. The country is constructing a standard gauge railway that will link Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo to the Dar es Salaam Port.
Tanzania standard gauge railway
The first phase of the railway line covering 202km from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro is in its final stages. Mr. Machibya explained that phase one was initially to be ready in November last year but the deadline was missed when the drilling works for a tunnel near Morogoro, building of bridges and placement of culverts were paralysed by heavy rains. The phase will have six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro, with the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stations being the largest.
Construction of the second phase of the standard gauge railway line covering 422 km is expected to start from Morogoro to Makutupora area in Dodoma Region. Yapi Merkezi of Turkey and Mota-Engil Africa of Portugal are jointly handling the first and second phases of the project however, separate tenders will be floated for the three remaining phases of Makutupora-Tabora (294km), Tabora-Isaka (133km) and Isaka-Mwanza (248km).
Overall, Tanzania SGR project will cover 1,457kms from Dar es Salaam to the shores of Lake Victoria and will cost $7.5 billion over the next five years. The Tanzania Railways Corporation plans to procure 1,430 cargo wagons and 20 locomotives for the line that will be serving the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Zambia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.