TRC unveils commuter train rail network for six cities

21Jan 2022
James Kandoya
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TRC unveils commuter train rail network for six cities

THE Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) has unveiled a plan to construct a rail network in six biggest cities to serve the increasing urban populations, projecting that commuter buses will be overwhelmed by 2030.

TRC managing director Masanja Kadogosa.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, TRC managing director Masanja Kadogosa named the cities earmarked for the project as Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mbeya, Mwanza, Arusha and Tanga.

While the commercial hub Dar es Salaam has an existing network that is partially functioning which will only be expanded and upgraded, feasibility study is currently underway in the capital Dodoma, he said.    

Kadogosa unveiled the plan before the Deputy Minister Works and Transport, Atupele Mwakibete who made the one-day tour to see the performance of the corporation after recently being appointed by President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

TRC boss said the statistics show that by 2030, over 20 million people will need commuter transport while in cities which according to him, buses cannot serve them alone.

Citing the Dar es Salaam city for instance, Kadogosa said there was a plan to construct a rail network from Tegeta, Kigamboni and Kongowe to the city centre.

“All these ring rail networks will help commuter trains to carry passengers from suburbs in the outskirts of the city to the main stations,” he said, noting that Dar es Salaam was a major transport hub for the East Africa region.

Dar es Salaam has an estimated 2020 population of 6,702,000 and is projected to grow by 100 percent to 13,383,000 in 2035.

The commercial capital has grown even faster, due to its essential role in the country's industry.

Kadogosa said feasibility studies were undergoing in other cities, a move aimed to come up with a comprehensive plan that will help to reduce the city’s demand in future.

Kadogosa further unveiled another future corporation plan of improving real estate to contribute to the corporation operation costs.

"TRC is not the first to come up with such an idea. Globally, we’re not the first country. It is commonly used by many Asian countries like Singapore and Japan to collect more revenues," he added.

In his remarks, the Deputy Minister for Transport, Atupele Mwakibete expressed satisfaction on the progress achieved in the construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

"I would like to reaffirm the government's commitment to support the corporation to ensure all projects are completed on time as planned," he said.

He also directed the management to come up with friendlier technology that can allow all passengers, even those without smart phones to buy online tickets.

Mwakibete said currently, passengers who have no Smartphone cannot buy an online ticket and therefore have to travel to the nearest stations.

 About four three years ago, it was reported that Tanzania  needs 20,000 kilometres from the current 4,700 kilometres of rail to link with the regional rail network that was  necessary for competitiveness and global region integration.

TRC Managing Director Masanja Kadogosa disclosed to reporters in Dar es Salaam when explaining success achieved so far.

Kadogosa said both the SGR and the Tanzania - Intermodal & Rail Development Project (TIRP) aimed at improving a critical link in the regional rail network that was necessary for both competitiveness and improved regional and global economic integration.

“While the government has massively invested in the construction of SGR using its domestic fund to connect its ports and the land locked countries, it is also renovating its meter gauge rail through (TIRP) a project worth $300million funded by the World Bank (WB),”he said.