Tanzania Railways Limited

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TRC SGR Under construction.

Tanzania Railways Corporation
TRC Logo.png
Dar TRC Railway Station.JPG
Two diesel locomotives pull a passenger train into
Dar es Salaam's main railway station.
National railwayTanzania
System length
Total2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi)
Track gauge
Main1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)

The Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) is a state-owned enterprise that runs one of Tanzania's two main railway networks.

When the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation was dissolved in 1977 and its assets divided between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, TRC was formed to take over its operations in Tanzania. In 1997 the inland shipping division became a separate company.

Rail network[edit]

TRC passenger train departing in Dodoma.

TRC's gauge is 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) and the length about 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi). Two east–west lines linking the coast and the hinterland were built under colonial rule as German East Africa: the Central Line runs from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma, and the Tanga Line from Tanga to Arusha. A north-south connection, from Korogwe to Ruvu, links the two lines. The main line runs to Lake Victoria where a connection operates via Lake Victoria train ferries with the Uganda Railway. From the Tanga line a line to Kenya is disused.

Railways in Tanzania.

There is a break-of-gauge at Dar es Salaam to the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) line to Zambia. A second link is at Kidatu, where the TAZARA line meets the Kidatu branch.

Former Marine Division[edit]

TRC inherited ferry and cargo ship services on Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa and some ships on Lake Victoria.

TRC introduced MV Bukoba on Lake Victoria in about 1979,[1] MV Mwongozo on Lake Tanganyika in 1982[2] and passenger and cargo ship MV Serengeti on Lake Victoria in 1988.[3]

On 21 May 1996 Bukoba sank in 25 metres (14 fathoms) of water about 30 nautical miles (56 km) off Mwanza.[1] She had many more passengers aboard than she was certified to carry and at least 800 people were killed.[1] After the disaster criminal charges were brought against nine TRC officials including Bukoba's master and the manager of the Marine Division.[1]

In 1997 the Marine Division became a separate company, Marine Services Company Limited.[4]

Rail accidents[edit]

On 24 June 2002 the Igandu train disaster killed 281 people, the second highest number of deaths in a train disaster in Africa (the highest being the Awash rail disaster).

Privatisation, re-nationalization and recent plans[edit]

In 2007 RITES Ltd of India won a contract from the Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC) to operate passenger and freight trains on a concession basis for 25 years.[5] The concession agreement was signed on 3 September 2007, to begin on 1 October 2007. The railway will be run as Tanzania Railway Ltd, with the government owning a 49% stake.[6]

There were moves to abandon the contract "due in part, to the fact that the Indian investor failed to pay over USD 6 million in concession fees to the Tanzania government in 2008" but RITES officials countered noting that the contract "misled Rites officials by indicating that the Railway Assets Holding Company (Rahco) was in possession of 92 working locomotives when, in actuality, only 55 existed".[7] In 2010, the government terminated the contract and resumed control.[8]

In 2007 the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Maua Abeid Daftari proposed conversion to standard gauge.[citation needed]


In 2008 tenders were sought for 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)-gauge steel sleepers convertible to 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge[9] and for concrete sleeper plant for dual 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) and 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauges.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Arai Shin-Ichi (30 May 1996). "Lake Victoria tragedy, Tanzania in May 21". Arai's Zanzibar, Tanzania Page. Arai Shin-Ichi. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  2. ^ "MV. Mwongozo". Vessels. Marine Services Company Limited. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  3. ^ "MV. Serengeti". Vessels. Marine Services Company Limited. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Home". Marine Services Company Limited. Marine Services Company Limited. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  5. ^ Rites Consortium to run railway in 2007
  6. ^ "October start for Tanzania rail concession". Railway Gazette International. 12 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012.
  7. ^ Tanzania Railways Ltd Recapitalization Archived 19 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine TanzaniaInvest, 17 August 2009
  8. ^ "Railways liberate our geography, they cannot be driven by pedestrian thinkers". The East African. 22 March 2010.
  9. ^ "SUPPLY OF STEEL RAILWAY SLEEPERS, SHOULDERS, AND PANDROL CLIPS (IFB 2/2008) - dgMarket". www.dgmarket.ro. Retrieved 4 September 2017.


External links[edit]