Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Eng Isack Kamwelwe said this recently at the launch of the 30 kilometers SGR rail infrastructure held at Soga site in Coast Region.
He said the locomotive will be operational effective July this year, as soon as they arrived in the country. He said the testing exercise is meant to evaluate the infrastructure to see whether they comply with the required standards.
“We have ordered locomotives for trail operations of the SGR infrastructures from this July. We want to evaluate its quality standards as the contractor continues connecting other parts of the country”, said Eng Kamwele.
The minister noted that the flush butt welding currently in the process is aimed at increasing durability and safety of the railway. He said the technology also increases comfortability and assurance of safety to users, and reduce possibilities of sabotage.
Eng Kamwele said the government expects to sign a contract (without mentioning the specific company) for procurement of locomotives and 1400 wagons that will be used in the SGR.
Kamwelwe took time to advise local experts to utilize the expertise skills from the ongoing project to be able to independently handle such projects in future.
Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) Director General, Masanja Kadogosa said the rail welding came after track consolidation and re-alignment. He said rail welding is performed to reduce renovation costs and increase durability."Welding of the railways helps to increase safety and durability of the infrastructure”, he said.
In 2016, the government signed a consortium agreement with two constructing companies, the Turkish and Portugal to construct the Dar es Salaam - Morogoro section at a cost of 2.7trn/-.
It was reported recently that the government had already disbursed 2trn out of 2.7trn/- for construction of Standard Gauge Rail (SGR) section from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro Region (300 kilometres).
Dr Kijaju hinted that the government had also already paid compensation worth 78bn/- to all people residing along the central line to pave way for the ongoing construction.
Completion of the railway will facilitate transportation of people and cargo from the Dar es Salaam port. It will also boost government revenues.
The SGR will also help ease the flow of goods and people in the neighbouring landlocked countries of Uganda, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.