Dar es Salaam — Tanzania Railway Limited is expecting 21 new locomotives and more than 200 wagons in August this year. According to TRL Managing Director, Kipallo Kisamfu the equipment will improve the operations and the performance of the company.
The MD clarified that TRL is no longer facing problems on the hardware part, but on the software part which includes people, customer care, processes and a good structures. He admitted during a recenTRL Transformation Workshop, the company still depends mostly on government subsidies, but during financial year 2015/2016 TRL will become self-sustaining.
The government is making efforts to transform TRL from being a service provider to becoming a business company. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Dr. Shabaan Mwinjaka said when officially opening the workshop in Dar es Salaam last week, following the 'Big Results Now', it is clear that private operators will be invited to operate the central railway.
"This is obvious that without better preparation TRL will automatically be kicked out of business," he said. The PS said the government was now putting long term strategies to enable the ailing TRL to become competitive.
Sources say that TRL, (former TRC) started facing financial difficulties since its establishment in 1977, the former TRC suffered from a long history of mismanagement, under-investment and financial difficulty, hence the decision to privatize the state-owned company.
TRC's annual losses between 1992 and 1996 varied between Tsh.10billion ($6.11million) and Tsh18billion ($11,01million) per year, with the government unable to stem the financial hemorrhage, according to official figures.
But things became worse after TRL signed an agreement with RITES of India where carried tonnage went further down under the privatized Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL); workers started staging on-and-off strikes over unpaid salaries. After much recriminations the contract was scrapped.
The government is also part shareholder in the Chinese built TAZARA. Not long ago, TAZARA began offering two commuter routes on its 20.5 kilometre metropolitan rail network. The first from its station in Dar es Salaam to Mwakanga which lies on the outskirts of the city. It stops at Kwa Fundi Umeme, Kwa Limboa, Lumo Kigilagila, Sigara, Kitunda road, Kipunguni B, Majohe and Magnus. The second service runs from its Dar es Salaam station to Kurasini via Kwa Fundi Umeme, Yombo, Chimwaga, Maputo, Mtoni Relini and Kwa Aziz Ali Relini.