The railway authority for the Tanzania transport sector, the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara), has recently begun work on an ambitious program that was designed to help increase its overall capacity to take advantage of the haulage potential that is offered by the freight cargo entering the country with final destinations being the DRC, Rwanda Burundi and Zambia.
According to a recent report by the Citizen, Tazara announced its intention to work closely with both the Tanzania Ports Authority and Ticts in order to eventually become a primary source of transportation for freights landing at the Dar es Salaam Port who are looking to haul the goods to the landlocked countries.
The Citizen has reported the statements of the Tazara deputy managing director, Damas Ndumbaro, who spoke during a recent press conference that was called in order to commemorate 33 years of service by the country’s railway authority, which was officially opened on July 1, 1976.
“When Tazara took off, it had a total of 100 locomotives, but currently there are only 22 locomotives,” he said, “We intend to boost our capacity by repairing the defective ones.”
Mr. Ndumbaro went on to explain that the strategic plan for this authority involved the revitalization of six locomotives that were currently out of order, the cost of which would be at least USD 4.8 million.
“The move,” he said, “is in line with the Government’s efforts to reduce congestion at the port.”
Currently, the majority of goods are being transported from the port to inland destinations is being handled by trucks, which are responsible for the transportation of more than 93 percent of the cargo, with the remaining 7 percent being handled by railway services as a single train has the haulage capacity equivalent of 60 truck loads.
In addition, Mr. Ndumbaro indicated that the management for the authority has successfully reduced the overall required transit time to four days, while, at the same reducing the overall time it takes for a train complete a circuit from Dar to Capri Point, known as the turn-around time, from 20 days to 14 days.
“Presently, we do not depend on any of the two governments for subsidy to run the network,” said Mr. Ndumbaro, “We now spend own funds.”
As of the most recent reports, Tazara currently accumulates an average of USD 3 million per month, thus providing an adequate amount of funding in order to pay worker’s salaries and to fund current and future Tazara development programs.