After more than 30 years of laying idle and defunct, the Dar es Salaam to Arusha railway line has been revived. CCM presidential candidate Dr. John Magufuli officially launched the train services today in Arusha.
Speaking at the launch event that was attended by various high ranking government officials and crowds of supporters, Dr. Magufuli said transport infrastructure is a major catalyst to economic growth. He said transport infrastructure is the basis to increased production across all sectors including agriculture, fishing, tourism, manufacturing and even mining.
“The lack of or having poor transport infrastructure severely affects development of the economy and productivity in these sectors,” he said.
He cited various studies that say having poor or defunct transport infrastructure lowers national income of African countries by upto 2 percent. Similarly, poor transport infrastructure or the lack thereof also increases the cost of goods in Africa by upto 40 percent.
He went on to point out that the now revived railway line will help stimulate economic production in multiple sectors and also reduce the cost of transportation and that way it will also lower the prices of goods.
In effect, the railway line will help reduce the cost of living for average Tanzanians and as such, serve to improve the general welfare of the common man.
Dr. Magufuli said, aside from reviving the train services, his administration plans on procuring several refrigerated cargo wagons to allow transportation of perishable goods like fruits, flowers and other horticultural products.
This will significantly boost economic activities since most horticultural products produced in the highlands of Arusha and other Northern regions have to be transported to the Dar es Salaam port for export.
The high prices of renting refrigerated transport service causes these products to bare high prices which in turn makes them less competitive in the international market.
Dr. Magufuli, also associated rail transport with reduced maintenance cost of roads. He said with cargo been transported via train, less heavy trucks will be on the roads effectively reducing the related damage to the roads and that way increasing their life spans.
The revived railway begun operation on October 2nd 2020 connecting the port city of Dar es Salaam with the sister port city of Tanga and runs across several regions including Korogwe and Moshi and all the way to the tourist hub of Arusha.
Dr. Magufuli spoke very passionately to a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers as he praised the management of the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) as true patriots to the country. He described them as unrelenting and dedicated, and said it is for these qualities that they were able to revive the railway line that was defunct for three decades.
“Today is truly a happy day for the country as a whole, and especially for these four regions that lacked railway transportation for over 30 years,” he said to the cheer of the crowds.