The train, which arrived in Morogoro at 3:30pm yesterday from Dar es Salaam, failed to continue with its journey after a stretch of the railway line from Gulwe to Kilosa was damaged by heavy rains.
Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) Marketing Manager Iddi Mzugu said part of the stretch had been washed away, forcing the passengers to be stranded in Morogoro municipality.
The manager told the Guardian in Morogoro that the Dar-Kigoma train did not leave as scheduled after its arrival in the municipality yesterday afternoon, causing panic among the more than 800 passengers on board.
He said he was warned by TRL staff on site that it was risky to allow the train to continue with its trip to Kigoma because the Gulwe-Kilosa stretch was waterlogged.
According to the TRL manager, a team was undertaking repairs of the damaged stretch as passengers waited to continue with their trip.
“So far we have provided passengers with a Sh8,000 token each for breakfast and lunch as we wait to find them alternative means of transport to allow them reach their destinations safely,” he said.
According to him, passengers would be under the care of the TRL management until all the processes to ferry them using other alternative means succeeded.
He said TRL was in talks with Abood bus company to transport the passengers to Dodoma today to enable them continue with their train journey to Kigoma.
“We want the passengers stranded at Dodoma to use the same buses to come to Morogoro where they will proceed with their trip to Dar es Salaam,” he said.
For his part, Morogoro station master Mbwana Mwakivumbi said passengers were informed about the damaged stretch as soon as the train arrived at the station.
A passenger identified as Sarafina John, a form four student at Nywele Secondary School in Tabora, said the delay would further affect her reporting to school as she was supposed to report back on January 8.
Iddi Salum, a business man who was in Dar es Salaam with his daughter for treatment, said the delay will likely affect her family’s income as he depended on his business for survival.