Tanzania President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli has launched the construction of the Dar-es-Salaam-Morogoro Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) at a ceremony held at Pugu Railway Station in Dar-es-Salaam.
The SGR which is to be constructed by Reli Assets Holding Company (RACHO) is the first phase of the Central Railway Corridor (Dar-es-Salaam –Mwanza).
The construction of the 205 km section between Dar-es-Salaam to Morogoro is expected to be completed within 30 months.
The Tanzania SGR which is to use electricity full-time is designed for a maximum speed of 160km/h for passenger trains and 120km/h for freight.
Representing Uganda at the launch, Mr Oscar Edule, Charge D’Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Uganda explained the significance of the launch for the in-land States in the facilitation of trade within the East African Community and its neighbors Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi which heavily rely on the Dar-es-Salaam Port for import and export.
“Once completed, the 1,217 km railway line from Dar-es-Salaam to Mwanza will link Uganda to the port of Dar-es-Salaam where cargo (import and export) can be transported by the SGR and by ship across Lake Victoria using Port Bell,” he said.
Under the auspices of Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP), regional leaders agreed to develop a seamless high capacity, modern, reliable and safe SGR system across the four countries.
Standard Gauge Railway as a back bone of transport infrastructure is expected to provide a transport service for export and import that is comparable to other services in other countries in terms of quality, cost and reliability.
These countries and their neighbors are at different stages of developing their respective railway systems in order to fully participate in international global trade and production.
At the laying of the foundation stone, President Magufuli underscored the commitment of his government to the development of infrastructure such as the SGR in addition to improvement and expansion of ports, airports, roads and bridges.