Tanzania to buy 19 electric cargo, passenger trains

Tuesday January 2 2018

The Ethiopia-Djibouti train line in Addis Ababa. Travelling at 120km/h, the new service cuts the journey time down from three days by road to about 12 hours. AFP PHOTO | ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER

The Ethiopia-Djibouti electric train line in Addis Ababa. Travelling at 120km/h, the service cut the journey time down from three days by road to about 12 hours. AFP PHOTO | ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER 

By The EastAfrican
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Tanzania has floated a multimillion dollar tender for 19 electric trains to be used on the standard gauge railway (SGR) which is under construction.

State-run railway firm Reli Assets Holding Company (Rahco) is seeking the supply of the locomotives, 14 of which will be cargo trains.

The deadline for the bids closes end of this month as Tanzania eyes becoming the East African Community logistics hub, a status currently held by Kenya.

Tanzania will also become the first country in the region to use high-speed electric cargo and passenger trains.

According to the tender notice, Rahco said the government has set aside funds for the purchase of the engines and carriages to operate along the Central Corridor.

Construction of the SGR began last April, with the first phase consisting of a 205km electric railway line from the port city of Dar es Salaam to Morogoro in central Tanzania. The $1.2 billion line, being built by Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi and Portuguese firm Mota-Engil, is expected to be completed by October 2019.

Tanzania plans to spend $14.2 billion to build a 2,561km SGR running from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria and Kigoma on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the next five years.

The country expects to connect its ports along the Indian Ocean to landlocked Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Kenya, which is also building its SGR, with 472km Mombasa-Nairobi line already in operation, plans to upgrade to electric line in four year’s time.