TANZANIA Railway Corporation (TRC) has awarded Hyundai Rotem a Won 335.4bn ($US 296.9m) contract to supply 80 EMUs and 17 electric locomotives, which are due to be delivered by 2024.

The EMU order is worth Won 215.7bn, while the locomotive order is worth Won 119.7bn.

The trains will be used on the 546km phases 1 and 2 of Tanzania’s Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) project from Dar es Salaam via Morogoro to Makutopora. The full 1219km line is being built in five phases, at a cost of $US 7bn.

The trains will be the first electric vehicles on the Tanzanian network, which currently uses diesel trains. Services will also be improved, with line speeds increasing from 40km/h on the existing narrow gauge network to 160km/h on the SGR.

The eight-car EMUs will have capacity for 590 passengers, and are designed to minimise noise and vibrations.

Hyundai says it plans to actively participate in the Tanzanian railway market, and will bid for contracts for the remaining sections of the SGR.

Testing the electrical systems on the first section of the SGR from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro, the first electrified line in east Africa, began in May following the construction of a transmission line. Tanzania plans to commission the 205km Dar es Salaam - Morogoro Phase One later this year. The $US 1.16bn project, which is being implemented by Yapi Merkez, Turkey, and Mota-Engil, Portugal, was originally due to be completed in 2019 after construction began in April 2017.

The line will create a connection with Lake Victoria.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) began construction of the 249km Ithaca - Mwanza section of the SGR following a ground-breaking ceremony on June 14. Tanzanian president, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, unveiled a foundation stone to mark the beginning of construction of the line, which will connect the SGR network to Lake Victoria.

An in-depth feature on the development of rail in Africa appears in the July issue of IRJ.

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