Tanzania launches Eastern Africa's first electric train

State-of-the-art train transports 1,400 passengers from coastal city of Dar es Salaam to Morogoro on its maiden journey, covering 300-kilometer distance

13:58 - 16/06/2024 Pazar
File photo
File photo

Tanzania launched its first electric train on Saturday, which transported 1,400 passengers from the coastal city of Dar es Salaam to Morogoro in the west on its maiden journey, covering a 300-kilometer (186-mile) distance.

Featuring state-of-the-art electric and signaling systems, the project—celebrated as Eastern Africa's first electric standard-gauge railway—has been completed, Albawaba News reported.

With plans for the second segment nearly complete, Türkiye-based company Yapi Merkezi, responsible for four of the five sections of Tanzania's extensive railway construction project spanning over 1,000 kilometers, has successfully finished the first segment.

Yapi Merkezi's Project Manager M. Firat Aygen underlined the transformative impact of the newly inaugurated railway, describing it as the initial step towards a broader transportation revolution in the region.

Tanzania Railways Corporation's General Manager Masanja Kadogosa highlighted the project's significance in fostering economic growth and enhancing transportation efficiency throughout Tanzania and Eastern Africa.

He noted that the first journey, which transported 1,400 passengers for free, had reduced the travel time between the two cities to just two hours.

With a shimmering facade of sky-blue glass panels, the Standard Gauge Railway Station in Tanzania's commercial hub Dar es Salaam looks more like an opulent airport terminal than a railway facility.

Inside, a maze of escalators gracefully glides passengers to various levels, offering a panoramic view of the bustling terminal below.

This architectural marvel, meticulously designed with passengers' comfort in mind, boasts state-of-the-art ticketing counters and plush waiting lounges equipped with charging ports and other amenities.

The station serves the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) electric train built by Turkish company Yapi Merkezi, a project that represents a significant leap forward for the East African nation's transportation infrastructure.

The electric train, a project worth nearly $2 billion, is seen as an immense boost to domestic connectivity, trade and economic opportunities with neighboring landlocked countries like Uganda and Rwanda.

The SGR's entire route will run from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, a port city on the shore of Lake Victoria, and Kigoma, a city on the northeastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, near the border with Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

That route will cover a total of nearly 1,300 kilometers (around 810 miles).

For now, the section completed is from Dar es Salaam to the capital Dodoma, running approximately 460 kilometers (285 miles), which will be officially inaugurated on July 1.

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