THE construction of 300 million US dollars (over 695bn/-) Dar es Salaam- Isaka railway is at final stages as the government bids to upgrade and expand the broader Central Corridor transport network.
The government revealed yesterday that about 44 wagons and three locomotives were expected to arrive in the country in December, 2020 and March 2021 respectively.
Works, Transport and Communications Minister, Engineer Isack Kamwelwe made the revelation here during the commissioning of one locomotive among the seven locomotives that are being repaired at Morogoro’s state-of-the-art workshop.
Eng Kamwelwe said that the ambitious 970 kilometres railway project was being undertaken in two phases and that the first phase from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro (283 kilometres) had been completed and that another 687 kilometres from Kilosa to Isaka was at different implementation stages.
The project according to Eng Kamwelwe was a necessary first step to the eventual upgrade and expansion of the broader Central Corridor transport network.
On April 24, 2014, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved 300 million US dollars from the International Development Association (IDA) to support Tanzania’s effort to create a reliable open access railway infrastructure on the Dar es Salaam - Isaka section of the East African Central Corridor and to strengthen the countries rail agencies’ ability to manage the infrastructure, the traffic operations, and the network regulation.
The financing targeted to support the Intermodal and Rail Development Project designed to increase the reliability of the rail infrastructure and the train operations; strengthen logistics in the port of Dar es Salaam and the rail terminals; and strengthen rail operations.
The project involves, relaying rail tracks, building new intermodal terminals, repairing or reconstructing bridges and supporting the institutional transformation of the sector.
The project also contributes to the World Bank Group’s (WBG) two broad goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Rehabilitating and upgrading the rail line to improve the transport linkages for the population living in the western part of Tanzania, an area that has a high concentration of agricultural activity.
“The government through the office of the treasury is still in talks with the Bretton Woods Institution to see how best we can fast-track the second phase from Kilosa to Isaka, although its implementation is currently at better stages,’’ said Eng Kamwelwe.
Yesterday, the transport minister was optimistic that the remaining six locomotives that are being repaired at the Morogoro workshop would help to improve transport in the railway sector.
He said they would be distributed to Kwala Dry Port, as well as Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam stations.