The number of passengers on Tanzania’s rail network rose by 77% in 2016, according to the African country’s Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Professor Makame Mbarawa
The number of passengers on Tanzania’s rail network rose by 77% in 2016, according to the African country’s Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Professor Makame Mbarawa.
The figures appear in the latest publication from NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
The Minister says this boost in demand was anticipated in fundamental modernisations to the national rail network in 2013 and in a US$330 million standardisation project collaborated by the rail operators in Tanzania, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This includes the 1,860km TAZARA line, split between Tanzania and Zambia, which functions as the central corridor linking the eastern port of Dar es Salaam to the central and western regions, ending at Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika.
A new network is also being added that will enable the transportation of greater volumes of cargo to other African countries, such as Burundi, the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.
Rail transport is a vital component of long-distance freight delivery on the continent and rivals road networks in its significance to the transportation of people, goods and services.
The new network will support the road network, reduce transit times and service domestic needs.
Overall, Tanzania’s railway lines spread over 3,676km and are operated by the two railway systems Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) and Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA).
The TAZARA scheme includes a 2,561km standard gauge railway between the Dar es Salaam port and Rwanda and Burundi, at a cost of $6.7 billion, and two more lines connecting Dar es Salaam to the iron ore, soda ash and coal mining regions in the north and south of Tanzania, which has an estimated cost of $6.6 billion.
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