M a r k e t N e w s

East Africa: New Railway Line Plan Sketched

Posted on : Thursday, 1st September 2016

 The government has outlined a three-year timeline for the construction of a 7.6 billion US dollar (15 trillion/-) railway line - a major trade artery between Tanzania and its landlocked neighbours of Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

 
The Standard Gauge project, which is supported by China's Exim Bank, is scheduled to start anytime from now, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Professor Makame Mbarawa, has confirmed.
 
"The planned standard gauge line from Dar es Salaam-Tabora-Isaka-Mwanza and Kaliua to Mpanda, Isaka to Lusumo and Uvinza to Msongati, some 2,560-kilometres will be implemented by three contractors and will take two phases," he said.
 
Prof Mbarawa further noted that each contractor will need to complete the job in 18 months-time or about three years for the two phases.
 
According to the minister, the Board of Directors of Reli Assets Holding Company (RAHCO) met on Monday in Dar es Salaam purposely to issue a tender for the construction of the 200-kilometre stretch from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro.
 
The standard gauge line is projected to take advantage of a planned 10 billion US dollar Bagamoyo port, discovery of natural gas and massive helium gas prospects in the country.
 
Government officials had it that the iconic infrastructure would open up more trade opportunities, reduce road traffic and amicably speed-up economic growth in the eastern-African developing country.
 
Giving further details about the project, the transport minister said the new railway will have a speed capacity of between 120 and 150-kilometre per hour. He explained that the movement of goods and people from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza will take less than 12-hours, beating speedy upcountry region buses that spend more than 16-hours for the same trip.
 
Technically, Prof Mbarawa said the current metre-gauge line takes more than 36-hours for cargo to move from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam. "In the first phase, we expect to construct about 1,219-kilometres.
 
The government allocated 1 trillion/- during the 2016/17 financial year while China will be granting a concessional loan amounting to 7.6 billion US dollars for the purpose," Prof Mbarawa noted.
 
Apparently, he said, the project will reduce congestion, especially in the country's commercial capital of Dar es Salaam. Meanwhile, the government has announced it will embark on importing Diesel Multi Unit (TMU) modern trains to boost commuter services in the city.
 
The plan, according the minister, will also include procurement of 35 new couches with the capacity to accommodate 100 passengers each.
 
Preparations for the undertakings are at an advanced stage and Prof Mbarawa has said the Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) would announce the tender for the project anytime from now.

Source : allafrica.com
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