Mwanza — THE government has ordered 13 new locomotives to be delivered in this year as part of plans to improve railway transport services under Big Result Now (BRN) initiative, the Deputy Minister for Transport, Dr Charles Tizeba has said.
Dr Tizeba told participants to the Lake Zone Investment Forum here on Thursday that the new locomotives would be of 2,000 Horse Power to be able to transport more cargo and at a higher speed.
"The plans to improve railway transport as well as rehabilitation of the central railway had been put under the BRN initiative to fast track implementation," the Deputy Minister explained.
Outlining government plans to make the Lake Zone Region the hub for trade and finance in the Great Lakes Region, he said eight old locomotives were currently being remanufactured at the Tanzania Railway Limited factory in Morogoro. Upon completion of the overhaul process, the locomotives will have 1,800 horsepower to be able to carry more cargo and move at a higher speed.
A total of 50 locomotives would be bought in the 2014/15 financial year, he said. The Deputy Minister further said 274 wagons had been ordered this year and would be delivered soon and a total of 970 wagons would be ordered in the 2014/15 financial year.
He said the idea is to have 1960 wagons in two year's time, he said. The average speed for the locomotives with wagons is 15 kilometres per hour where as the new and remanufactured locomotives would have an average speed of 50 kilometres per hour, he said.
There will be in the quantity of cargo transported by the railway from the current 260,000 tonnes per year to 3.5 million tonnes per year, he said. He said RAHCO was continuing with upgrading of the railway network by replacing lighter rails of 45 (ratili) with stronger ones of 80 (ratili).
A total of 521 kilometres of the central railway were already upgraded and 170 kilometres more would be upgraded in this year, he said. He said Tanzania Railway Limited had secured funds from the Tanzania Investment Bank and a South Africa's investment bank to facilitate remanufacturing of 78 locomotives at the TRL factory in Morogoro.
"Possibility of having 120 locomotives by the end of next year is real," he said. The investment forum has been organized by six regions making up the Lake Zone The Lake Zone Investment Forum has been organized by the six regions making up the lake zone - Mwanza, Geita, Shinyanga, Simiyu, Kagera and Mara - in collaboration with the Tanzania Investment Centre to promote investments opportunities in the regions in order to attract more local and foreign investments.