Phase one of standard gauge railway (SGR) between the business capital Dar es Salaam and Morogoro Tanzania is set to commence operations soon.
Isack Kamwele, Minister for Works, Transport and Communication confirmed the reports and said that procurement process for wagons and locomotive engines has been completed paving way for operations.
“We have already set some funds to purchase the engines and also begun procurement of 1,430 cargo wagons, 20 locomotives, 60 passenger carriages and five sets of multiple trains,” said Mr. Kamwele.
“We are going to start conducting the first trials of these speed trains in July to cover part of the 300km. Once this is done, and we are finished with the final works in the third quarter, then we should start seeing operations by December,” he added.
Standard Gauge Railway
Construction of the first phase cost US $1.9bn. The tests will be the first for the ambitious project that Dar es Salaam has been pushing since April 2017. In operation, the trains are expected to reach speeds of 160 kilometres per hour.
Kamwele directed the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) authorities to ensure some local sub-contractors were paid on time to speed up the construction process and avoid corruption within the SGR project.
“The contractor of SGR project is so far doing a good job, unfortunately, I have been receiving some complaints from sub-contractors that the contractor was delaying to pay them,” said the Transport Minister.
This SGR project will ensure the ease of movement from town to town and is regarded as a key factor of development for the country’s economy. Tanzania will be the third East African country to implement modern railway services after Kenya and Ethiopia.