By Special Reporter, Dar es Salaam
Tanzania is set to test its first, maiden, cheaper and very superior own funded electric train.The train is tipped to be one of Africas high speed trains with projected speeds of up to 160 mph.
Speaking at a historic event to launch the flash butt welding of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) exercise that took place at Soga in Coastal region outside Dar es Salaam, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Eng. Isack Kamwele said first trials for speedy electric train will be conducted in July this year to cover a section of the SGR.
The first 300 km phase running from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro with 6 stations in between will commence its operations in December this year. There will be three passenger trains in phase one at the starting point that will be taking daily round trips between the two cities. Each passenger train is capable of making 9 to 12 trips a day or even more.
The train will use concrete sleepers which improve durability and give the railway network capacity to carry up to 35 tonnes per axle loads. The rails can survive up to 40 years before any major repairs while the train bridge can survive up to 100 years.
So far, over 26,000 employment opportunities have been created by the US $1.9bn project and more job opportunities will be created in the second phase and subsequent ones and once the stations becomes fully operational.