Tanzania is set to receive first batch of 43 electric trains it had ordered by November this year.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Works and Transport, Dr Leonard Chamuriho, who witnessed the signing of the contract between Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC), and Hyundai Rotem last Wednesday in Dar es Salaam.
The contract was signed by TRC director general, Masanja Kadogosa and Mr Lee Se-Han, Senior Manager of Hyundai Rotem.
“Earlier, we procured 42 electric locomotives from Germany and South Korea. Once they arrive in November, testing of the SGR (Standard Gauge Railway) section from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro will commence,” Dr. Chamuriho said.
Speaking at the event, TRC director general Masanja Kadogosa said the contractor would train Tanzanian engineers on how to operate SGR trains.
“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. 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 said.
Also, the agreement will see 200 engineers and 10 drivers attend training in Korea to learn how to operate trains, this approach will allow local experts to operate in the SGR instead of going for foreign engineers.
Mr. Kadogosa also revealed that Construction of the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section of the SGR is 92.7 per cent complete.
Meanwhile, the remaining 15 kilometres of the project is in the process of completion by the contractor, Turkish firm, Yapi Merkezi.
TRC choose Hyundai Rotem to manufacture the electric locomotives because it is a big company that has been operating for many years.
In his part, Mr Lee Se-Han said his organization was happy to work with TRC to supply 80 electric multiple units (EMUs) and 17 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 of 25 months,” he said.
Tanzania’s deal with Hyundai Rotem follows the country’s plan to modernise its railroads after injecting Tsh 7.9 trillion ($6.9 billion) into upgrading its old rail system.
With the new railroads,, electric locomotives supplied by Hyundai Rotem will run at a maximum 160kilometre per hour as compared to the old rail system that was narrow, permitting a speed of 30 to 40 Kilometres per hour.