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TRC reveals reason for SGR trial delay

TRC reveals reason for SGR trial delay

THE Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) has mentioned weather and coronavirus pandemic as the key reasons for the trial delay of the phase one Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro.

TRC Director General,MasanjaKadogosa said on Wednesday that rains have impeded the laying of rails on concrete sleepers throughout the line, causing construction to halt at times. Engineers, for example, took a month or two off between 2018 and 2019.

Mr Kadogosa, on the other hand, said that they plan to begin testing in the first week of May 2022 after getting the rolling stock. The SGR segment between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro had reached 95.03 per cent by December last year.

According to Kadogosa, the term rolling stock in the rail transport industry refers to railway vehicles, including both powered and unpowered vehicles: for example, locomotives, freight and passenger cars (or coaches), and non-revenue cars.

“We have already ordered rolling stock for the testing commission, and they were intended to enter the country in November last year, but they did not because of Covid-19 issues affecting manufacturers, who rely on raw materials from various countries that are subject to lockdowns. The issue is with the manufacturer, not with us,” says Mr Kadogosa.

He went on to say that there is a production slowdown, for example, onboard equipment from Bombardier in Canada.

“We recently had to send our engineers to check on the manufacturer's work, and those are the issues they found,” he stated.

In terms of connecting the Pugu section to the main SGR station in Dar es Salaam, the TRC boss said they expect it to be completed by the end of February, and the contractor's test train will begin coming to the city centre as per the agreement they have with the contractor.

Other challenges in the implementation of the SGR project, according to Mr Kadogosa, include extending a railway line to the port and demolishing some industries, but according to the country laws, one cannot demolish a person's property without paying compensation, causing the delay in the project.

He noted that they have so far ordered rolling stock that will be used once the project is completed, the majority of which is from South Korea and might take longer to be delivered.

“There are some that take up to 48 months while others take much longer... right now, we are doing well in terms of design, and TRC engineers have gone there for approval,” he said.

The SGR rolling stock, which contains 30 coaches in the first phase and two locomotives which will be used in the trial process, 59 coaches and an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) in the second phase, is expected to cost around 350,029,800 US dollars.

“There is a construction from Ilala to enter the port, and it will take us up to eight months at the very least,” Mr Kadogosa said.

As of December 2021, construction of the stretch from Morogoro - Makutuporahad reached 79 per cent and Mwanza - Isaka 4.27 per cent.

The construction of SGR consists of five lots covering a 1,219 km long main track: Lot one, Dar es Salaam – Morogoro ­­(300 km). The project was launched in April 2017 and is constructed by Yapi Merkezi and Mota Engil Africa;

Lot two Morogoro- Makutupora (422 km), launched in March 2018, Lot three Makutupora –Tabora (294 km) ,lot four Tabora – Isaka (130 km), all being implemented by YapiMerkezi, and lot five Isaka – Mwanza (249 km) which is still in negotiations.

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Author:  HILDA MHAGAMA

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