The anticipated maiden test of passenger train operations for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro covering a stretch of 300 kilometers , is now expected to commence in January 2023 should it receive endorsement from the national transport regulatory body, The BusinessWiz has learnt.
The Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) earlier this year announced that the Dar es Salaam – Morogoro Phase 1 of the Standard Gauge Railway would commence operations in April this year after failing to meet the initial November 2021 deadline but months after postponed the project’s timeline to September 2022.
This is the third postponement announced by TRC that castigated hopes by citizens who are eager to see the project running.
TRC’s Director General Masanja Kadogosa issued new directives for the operational trial run urging that the project would be successful after scrutiny by Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) on the aspects of safety and effectiveness of the railway line before issuing a clearance to start official operations.
According to him, the operational trial run will take almost three months for passenger wagons and locomotive engine testing and if authorities are satisfied, the Dar es Salaam – Morogoro passenger services will start next January.
The TRC Boss told The Business Wiz in an exclusive interview that, “the laid down logistics are in line with Transport Act of 2019 whereby the regulator will also be in a position to issue fare rates as in accordance with the stipulated legislation”.
He added, “It is a complex project so the regulator has to test the safety of the railway line, fibre, cartel system and lectricity transmission line connected to the national grid”
The SGR construction project is currently going on despite the fact that the activities in its phase one has reached 97 per cent as of June this year and the first electricity trial run by the project has been successfully proved to be safe.
However, TRC has allayed public fears about electricity reliability, saying the SGR system is connected to the national grid and it has a power reserve that can sustain it to run for almost 48-minutes without the need to feed generation among other standby power generation line up.
The first trial runs show that the railway line is expected time from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro might be
reduced as the speed is 160-kilometers per hour. The Tanzania SGR hit a speed of 160Km/h compared to
Kenya’s SGR that uses diesel and can move up to 120Km/h.
The project from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro is being executed by Turkish company Yapi Merkezi
Co. Ltd will and upon its completion it will link Tanzania with Rwanda, Burundi and the DR Congo.
Tanzania government is expected to inject an estimated 14trn/- (US$ 6.5) billion for the 1,457
kilometres in all the five phases of the SGR project from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza in total.
The five phases under the SGR projects covers Dar es Salaam – Morogoro section covering 300km, the
Morogoro- Makutupora section 422km, Makutupora -Tabora section taking up 294km.
The final sections are Tabora – Isaka at 130km and Isaka to Mwanza, another 249km, capped by the
Tabora to Kigoma section stretched along 411kms.
The SGR project will link the Dar es Salaam port to landlocked neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In January this year, Tanzania and Burundi signed a deal to build a 282 kilometer of SGR from Uvinza in
Tanzania’s Kigoma region to Gitega in Burundi. 156 km of the SGR will be built in Tanzania and 126 kmwill be built in Burundi.
Both countries already started seeking finance for the implementation of the project, which is estimated to cost less than US$ 900 million.
In early July last year, the South Korea-based company Hyundai Rotem secured contracts in early July this year worth US$ 295.65m from government to deliver eco-friendly train cars in a contractual ceremony which took place in Dar es Salaam.
As per the deal, TRC will receive 80 train cars worth US$ 190.12m and 17 electric locomotives worth
$105.53m from Hyundai Rotem and the railcars are expected to be delivered by 2024.
These new trains will be much faster than the diesel trains currently operating in Tanzania at 30 -40 Kms per hour and will feature nursing rooms, along with seats for convenient wheelchair access.
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