Tanzanians will be able to enjoy new rail services by December this year. The government believes that the first phase of construction of USD 1.9 billion standard gauge railway connectivity between Morogoro and Dar es Salaam will be completed soon.
Tanzania recently received the locomotives through the standard gauge railway project contractor Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi, which will be used for testing, moving it closer to actualising one of sub-Saharan Africa's few high-speed trains. It also launched the flash butt welding of the SGR in Soga, on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, a key milestone for the project, The East African reported.
"We are going to start conducting the first trials of these speed trains in July to cover part of the 300 kilometres. Once this is done, and we are finished with the final works in the third quarter, then we should start seeing operations by December," Minister for Works, Transport and Communications Isack Kamwele opined.
The transport ministry is also demanding approval from lawmakers for its 2019-20 budget of 4.96 trillion shillings (USD 2.15 billion), which includes 2.48 trillion shillings for construction of a standard-gauge railway line. The railway line will link Tanzania's commercial city of Dar es Salaam with the town of Mwanza along Lake Victoria.
On the other hand, Tanzania Ports Authority will be allocated 548 billion shillings to continue expansion works at the Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara ports, while 70 billion shillings will be spent on modernizing ferry services across Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika.