TRL suspends passengers' train services to Dodoma

28Jan 2016
Getrude Mbago
The Guardian
TRL suspends passengers' train services to Dodoma

Railway passengers from Dar es Salaam, Coast and Morogoro to upcountry regions using TRL coaches will from tomorrow have to rely on other means of transport to Dodoma to catch the train after the rail lines were destroyed by floods early this month.

Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL)

Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) yesterday announced to shift its services to Dodoma officially, following the massive destruction of the railway lines by floods at Kidete and Kilosa stations in Morogoro Region early this month.

Addressing reporters in Dar es Salaam, TRL Public Relations Officer Midladjy Maez said the services will resume after completion of the ongoing repair work in Morogoro Region.

According to Maez, the affected Kidete and Kilosa stations are stubborn areas, especially during rainy season, whereby infrastructures are badly damaged by floods almost every year.

“We have been compelled to suspend our services in Dar es Salaam for a while as we wait for major renovations of the infrastructures which will be carried out later,” he said without clarifying exactly when the major work will commence.

Maez said at least 600 kilometres of the entire railway in the country are frequently damaged by floods, thus needs major repairs o bring it to shape.

“There are many parts of the country which need major repairs - it’s not Kidete and Kilosa only … But the still management is working to find a permanent solution to this stubborn area,” he said.

He elaborated that as the TRL management thinks of the permanent solution, at the moment it has also stopped the maintenance which was continuing in the flood-prone areas until the ongoing rain season comes to an end.
“We cannot continue wasting resources at this time … the maintenance exercise will resume later,” he noted.

He said the government has commissioned Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to conduct a research in the area so as to come up with a better way of addressing the problem.

“When JICA completes its research we hope that this problem will become history,” Maez said, adding that the government is keen to ensure that it fixes the problem much earlier.

Early this month, TRL management cancelled all upcountry passenger train services after floods swept away the metal tracks in Dodoma and Morogoro regions.
The devastation forced the trains to stop at Kidete and Mzaganza stations. Floods also destroyed railway infrastructure between Kilosa in Morogoro Region and Gulwe in Dodoma Region.

According to TRL acting Director General Elias Mshana, the magnitude of the destruction was huge and the company’s engineers and technicians were on ground to assess the damage and possible action to be taken.

TRL infrastructures damage has been happening almost every year whereby in January 2014, the rail also suspended upcountry train services after a damage at Gulwe and Godegode in Mpwapwa District, Dodoma Region.