Tanzania’s electric train can reach speeds of 160 km/h, as demonstrated by a test run on its newly built Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro.
The tests are the first for the ambitious project that Tanzania since April 2017.
The 300km Dar Morogoro line is the first phase of the SGR project, which is expected to run as far as Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria and Kigoma on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika in five phases. There are plans to add services to Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of the East African Railway Master Plan.
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Once operational, the SGR trains, which operate at an average speed of 160 km/h, will cut the time between Dar and Morogoro from the current four-hour journey by bus and five hours by train to around two hours on the old meter-gauge railway .
On Sunday, Tanzania’s government spokesman shared a short clip on social media about the electric train during its test run. Two electric locomotives were bought by Turkish construction company Yapı Merkezi for testing the line. The assessments, which began in May, are due to be completed this month.
Tanzania is looking to replace the rather outdated and less efficient meter gauge railway system established during the colonial East African Railways.
< p>However, delays in the completion of the Julius Nyerere Dam, which is expected to produce electricity to power SGR’s locomotive motors, will prevent its commissioning.
Read:< /strong>Power dam Delays in electric train launch in Tanzania
According to officials, the construction plan of the dam has been revised and the completion date has been pushed back to 2024.
Railway lines will be supplemented with overhead lines to supply the trains and wagons with electricity. Phase two of the SGR project runs from Morogoro to Makutupora and covers 422 kilometers. The line will be extended in phase three to Tabora, 294 km away.
The fourth phase will connect Tabora to Isaka, a 130 km line, where it will branch to Mwanza and Kigoma.
< p>Once complete, it is hoped that the new railroad will reduce road congestion and reduce freight costs by 40 percent.