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Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)

Tanzania Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)

The government of Tanzania is currently expanding the country’s rail network with the construction of a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to replace the old, inefficient meter-gauge railway system.

The SGR railway has the ability to carry heavy loads at high speed as opposed to the current Meter gauge Railway (MGR).

Tanzania’s SGR uses electric locomotives and has the capacity to transport passengers and cargo shipments at 160 kilometers per hour.

The SGR will link Tanzania, from the port of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean to the port of Mwanza on the shore of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania, and from there to neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The SGR consists of a network of about 2,000 km developed in six phases:

  • Phase 1: Dar es Salaam -Morogoro (Km 300)
  • Phase 2: Morogoro-Makutupora (Km 422)
  • Phase 3: Makutupora-Tabora (Km 294)
  • Phase 4: Tabora-Isaka (Km 130)
  • Phase 5: Isaka-Mwanza (Km 249)
  • Phase 6: Tabora-Kigoma (Km 506)

Phase 1: Dar es salaam – Morogoro (300 km). Construction was inaugurated on 12th April 2017 and was carried out by Yapı Merkezi from Turkey in partnership with Mota Engil Africa from Portugal. According to comments made by Jamila Mbarouk, Communications Manager of the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) on 1st November 2023, the construction of the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section has reached 98%. The railway is currently in the testing phase.

In April 2024, TRC announced the arrival of the first Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains at Dar es Salaam port. This initial delivery includes five electric locomotives and three passenger cars from Hyundai Rotem in South Korea. Each train can carry up to 589 passengers at speeds up to 160 km/h and features amenities like Wi-Fi, special needs seating, air conditioning, and CCTV for security. TRC expects to receive a total of 10 EMU sets, with the remaining units arriving monthly until October 2024. Additionally, they have already received 65 passenger cars and 9 electric locomotives.

Phase 2: Morogoro – Makutupora (Km 442). Makutupora is in proximity to Dodoma, Tanzania’s administrative capital. The construction of the project was launched on 14th March 2018. The initial stages of construction have started under Yapı Merkezi. The construction of the section has reached 96%. On April 21st, 2024, TRC carried out the first test run of the SGR connecting Dar es Salaam with Dodoma. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa officiated the launch, assuring Tanzanians that the 627 km line would be operational by July 2024, with 65 of the 89 ordered passenger carriages already delivered.

Phase 3: Makutupora –Tabora (Km 294 + km 78 of intersections). Yapı Merkezi started the construction of the 3rd phase on 12th April 2022. According to TRC, the construction time is 46 months including the trial period. The construction of the section has reached 14%.

Phase 4: Tabora – Isaka (Km 130 + Km 35 of intersections). The agreement for the construction of the project with Yapi Merkazi was signed by the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) on behalf of the Government of Tanzania on 4th July 2022. Works started on 18th January 2023. According to TRC, the implementation period is 42 months including a trial period of 6 months. The construction of the section has reached 5%.

Phase 5: Isaka – Mwanza (Km 249 + Km 92 of intersections). The Government of Tanzania signed the development agreement with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway Construction in January 2021. The construction of the section has reached 54%.

Phase 6: Tabora – Kigoma (Km 506). The agreement for the construction of the project with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC) was signed on 20th December 2022.

Last Updated: 12th June 2024