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Tanzania’s Railway Section from Dar es Salaam to Isaka to Undergo Major Upgrades with USD 200 Million Financing from World Bank

World Bank Dar es Salaam Isaka Railway Upgrade 2024

Tanzania’s railway infrastructure is poised for significant enhancements with the approval of USD 200 million in financing from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) for the second phase of the Tanzania Intermodal and Rail Development Project (TIRP-2).

The financing, part of the broader USD 300 million TIRP project, aims to revitalize the country’s meter-gauge railway network, particularly the section spanning from Dar es Salaam to Isaka (970km).

By increasing the freight capacity from 13.5 tonnes axle load to 18.5 axle load, the project will significantly enhance safety, climate resilience, and operational efficiency along this vital railway segment.

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In addition to bolstering infrastructure and supporting transport studies, TIRP-2 will focus on strengthening climate resilience, providing operational and institutional support, and implementing emergency response measures along the Kilosa-Gulwe-Igandu section.

The impact of this project extends beyond direct beneficiaries, estimated at nearly 900,000 people, to indirectly benefit approximately 3.5 million individuals, constituting roughly 5% of Tanzania’s population. This includes railway users, residents along the line, businesses engaged in trade, and communities within the Kinywasungwe catchment area.

Nathan Belete, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, emphasized the project’s significance in addressing persistent bottlenecks in the transportation network. He stated, “This investment will directly address the bottlenecks in the rail network to enhance efficiency, capacity, and competitiveness, maximizing Tanzania’s position to facilitate regional connectivity.”

Yonas Mchomvu, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist and Task Team Leader, highlighted the project’s focus on climate-informed infrastructure. He emphasized, “The new project will invest in climate-informed infrastructure, adapting the corridor to natural disasters and mainstreaming climate resilience.”

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Tanzania’s Railway Network

Currently, Tanzania operates two operational railway systems covering a total of 3,682 km. These include the meter-gauge railway (MGR) under the Tanzania Railway Corporation and the Tanzania-Zambia railway line, alongside a cape gauge railway (CGR) system under the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). The ongoing development of a standard gauge railway (SGR) along the Central Corridor represents a significant advancement in the country’s transportation network.

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