TANZANIA’s prime minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, flagged away the first trial run of a passenger train on the newly-completed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) on April 21.

The train from Dar Es Salaam to the capital Dodoma was carrying invited government officials and dignitaries, ahead of the official opening of Tanzania Railway Corporation’s (TRC) $US 10.01bn, 627km line to the public later this year.

"Today is a historic day that celebrates the culmination of 60 years of the Union of the United Republic of Tanzania,” said Majaliwa. “The launch of the railway line from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma shows that there are still a few steps left for us to take.”

Tanzania’s deputy minister of transport, Mr David Kihenzile, says that the railway will conduct further trials with both locomotives and rolling stock before regular passenger services on the line start in July.

To date nine of 19 locomotives, one of 10 EMUs built by Hyundai Rotem and 65 of 89 coaches supplied by fellow Korean manufacturer Sung Shin Rolling Stock Technology  for the new line have arrived in Tanzania.

For more information about the development of the SGR and other lines in sub-Saharan Africa, see the features in the upcoming June issue of IRJ.

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