SGR double decker coaches arrive at Dar es Salaam Port

THE first batch of double-decker coaches for Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) arrived at the port of Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, ahead of its commissioning in July this year.

According to the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC), the initial batch consists of six coaches among 30 being repaired by Lückemeier Transport & Logistik GmbH of Germany.

This is the second time TRC has received passenger coaches; in November last year, the first batch of 14 coaches was delivered by Sung Shin Rolling Stock Technology Company (SSRST) in South Korea, as part of 59 wagons to be delivered by the company in July this year.

Ahead of the commissioning of SGR, TRC has been undertaking various measures as part of preparations including providing capacity-building training for its executives on maintenance and operation

As the construction of SGR’s first lot from Dar es Salaam – Morogoro is nearly complete, 303 TRC executives are being trained in Information Technology systems, business models, maintenance, marshalling, logistics, operations and safety.

The training is conducted by Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) in accordance with the agreement signed between TRC and KORAIL on July 4 2022 for the capacity building of Tanzanians, who will be tasked with operating railway services once the SGR is completed.

Tabling the Ministry for Works and Transport budget estimates for 2023/2024, the dockets minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said for that fiscal year, more than 1.113tril/- is expected to be used for the construction of SGR, the purchase of engines, wagons, railway coaches, as well as a feasibility study for rail projects.

Construction of the SGR, Dar es Salaam – Morogoro (300 km) is 98.14 complete; Morogoro – Makutupora (422 km) has reached 93.83 per cent; Mwanza – Isaka (341 km) is 31.07 per cent; Makutupora – Tabora (371 km) is 7 per cent and the Tabora – Isaka (165 km) whose construction was launched in January this year has reached 2.39 per cent.

Prof Mbarawa said the manufacture of 17 electric locomotive engines reached 42.1 per cent and 10 sets of Electric Multiple Units (EMU) reached 38.2 per cent.

“Two electric locomotives and one set of regular electric trains are expected to arrive in the country in June this year. The manufacturing of 1,430 wagons has reached 42 per cent,” he said.

Once commissioned for service, the SGR train, running at an average speed of 160 km per hour, will cut the time between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro to about two hours from the current four-hour journey by buses and five hours by train on the old Metre Gauge Railway (MGR).

Construction of SGR to link Tanzania with land-linked neighbouring countries is one of the major government’s flagship projects entailed in the Third Five-Year National Development Plan 2021/22 – 2025/26 (FYDP III).

Equally, it will help the country make optimal use of its strategic geographical location to become a leading regional trade and logistics hub.

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