The construction of Tanzania’s standard gauge railway (SGR) along the central corridor is set to start in December 2016.
The 2,190km railway involves the construction of a SGR from Dar es Salaam-Tabora-Isaac-Mwanza, Tabora-Mpanda-Kalemela, Tabora-Kigoma and Uvinza-Isaac-Keza-Msongati.
According to Makame Mbarawa, Tanzania’s Minister of for Works, Transport and Communications, the SGR project will be completed in 4 phases over the next 3 years.
Tanzania President Magufuli recently noted that the implementation of the railway project will help lift the economy of Tanzania and its neighboring countries, including Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In July 2016, the Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a USD7.6b loan with China’s Exim Bank to finance the construction of the SGR.
In addition, the Government of Tanzania has allocated around USD455m to the project from the 2016–2017 budget.
Railway transport is the second most important mode of transport after road and critical for long distance freight along the main transport corridors in Tanzania.
Currently (2016), the Tanzanian rail network comprises two main railways: the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) network of 2,600 km and the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) of 1,067 km, connecting Dar es Salaam with Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.
The TRC mainline comprises the central corridor between the port of Dar es Salaam in the east, linking central and western areas of the country and terminating at Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika in the west.