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Tanzania - Railway

Tanzania aimed to become a regional transport hub by 2021. At the moment, rail transit is overseen by two companies, Tanzania Railway Ltd and Tazara, built by the Chinese in the 1970s. In March 2015, the country said it expected to spend $14.2 billion to build a new rail network in the next five years. The network is to be financed with commercial loans.

The central railway meter-gauge line was the largest technical inheritance of the German colonial era in Tanzania, which ended at the end of World War I with the colony being divided between Britain and Belgium. The central line, started in 1905, was the second railway project in the colony of the German East Africa (present-day Burundi, Rwanda, and the mainland part of Tanzania) after the Usambara Railway.

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway [TanZam] is one of the biggest complete sets of projects China has ever undertaken in overseas aid items. This 1860-kilometer long rail-road starts from Dar es Salaam in the East Which is the capital of Tanzania and ends in Kapri Mposhi in Zambia in the West. Chinese experts and engineering technicians did all the work of exploration, survey and designing and they also assisted the Tanzania and Zambia governments to organize the execution of the construction. The project was collosal, involving complicated techniques and the construction was carried out under the most difficult conditions. The surveying and designing of this project started in May 1968, and its construction began in October 1970. The whole project was completed and handed over in July 1976. Some 50,000 Chinese traveled thousands of miles to help with the construction efforts and 65 of them lost lives in the process.

Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) was established on 25th May 2007 and started its operations on 1st October 2007 under the ownership of RITES of India and the Government of Tanzania through 51% and 49% shareholding respectively. As of now TRL is fully owned by the Government of United Republic of Tanzania at 100% shareholding since 22nd July 2011.

Tanzania awarded a standard gauge rail construction projects worth $9 billion to a consortium led by China Railway Materials. The consortium has been awarded a contract to build new lines of 2,561 kilometers that will connect the port of Dar es Salaam to landlocked neighbors. Work is expected to begin in the second half of 2015.

The central line, operated by Tanzania Railway Ltd, which connects Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Dar es Salaam Port, is expected to cost $7.6 billion. Due to depletion of central line infrastructure, the number of passengers ferried by the Tanzania Railway fell more than 13 percent to 1.18 million passengers in 2014 from 1.34 million passengers.

Tanzania signed an agreement with another Chinese company, China Railway No 2 Engineering Group Co Ltd, to build a railway line linking coal and iron ore mining projects. The project in the southern highlands of Tanzania, under development by China's Sichuan Hongda Group, needs a rail line to transport iron and coal to the southern port of Mtwara near big offshore natural gas discoveries. A total of $3 billion has been set aside for the projects.

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Page last modified: 03-06-2017 18:14:12 ZULU