TRC to receive 42 Korean electric trains by November 2021

Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) is expected to receive first 42 electric locomotives by November this year.

The move will enable TRC to officially start operating the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section.

Dr. Leonard Chamuriho, Minister for Works and Transport said during the signing contract between TRC and Hyundai Rotem on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam.

“Earlier, we procured 42 electric locomotives from Germany and South Korea. Once they arrive in November this year, the testing of the SGR section from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro will begin,” he said.

Masanja Kadogosa, the TRC Director General shared that it was encouraging that they the contractor has seen the need to train local engineers on how to operate the SGR.

“In every contract that we have signed so far, there is a component that compels the teaching of local experts on maintenance, signals and driving.

Kadogosa added that, “This will enable our experts to be trained in different areas. We want more local engineers to be competent in all the aspects just like the way we have our own experts operating Air Tanzania.”
He stressed that 200 engineers and 10 drivers will go Korea to learn how to operate electric trains.

“The approach we are using is to allow locals experts to operate in the SGR instead of going for foreign engineers.”

He said construction of the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section of the SGR has reached 92.7 per cent, and currently, the contractor, Turkish firm, Yapi Merkezi, was completing the remaining 15 kilometres of the project.

Kadogosa said they decided to choose Hyundai Rotem to manufacture the electric locomotives because it is a big company that has been operating for many years.

On his side, Lee Se-Han, Senior manager at Hyundai Rotem pointed out that his organization was happy to work with TRC to supply EMUs and electric locomotive for the SGR.

“We are confident that through close cooperation we will be able to manufacture the electric locomotives within the specified time 25 months,” Se-Han said.

The deal follows the Tanzanian government’s plan to modernise its railroads, investing Tsh7.9 trillion ($6.9 billion) to replace its old railway system. Tanzania’s rails were narrower than standard gauges, and trains had to be driven at a slow speed of 30 to 40 kilometres per hour.

With new rails, electric locomotives and EMUs supplied by Hyundai Rotem will run at a maximum speed of 160 kilometres per hour.

Along with the ongoing construction of the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section, work on the 426-kilometre long Morogoro-Makutupora section of the SGR is currently ongoing.

Like the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section, the Morogoro-Makutupora section is also being built by the Turkish company Yapi Merkezi.