Tanzania’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has dominated banter on social media platforms after the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) shared photos of their test locomotives. Social media users made fun of the ‘ugly’ heads questioning if indeed they will hit speeds of 160km per hour and 120km per hour for passenger and freight trains respectively. One of the photos shows the locomotive being lowered from a ship while the second photo is of the same train having derailed from the tracks. TRC, in a bid to save face, clarified that the locomotive had no relation with TRC.
TRC tweet read:
Kichwa cha Treni ambacho ni moja ya kifaa cha kazi cha Mkandarasi wa Ujenzi wa Reli ya kisasa -SGR Yapi Merkez kimewasili, Kichwa hiki hakina uhusiano na TRC (loosely translated: The locomotive from SGR Yapi Merkez has arrived-the head has no relationship with TRC).
— MamUPDATE (@Mamu_tz) May 9, 2019
Here are the differences between the Tanzania and Kenya SGR
Tanzania modern rail will be electric powered while Kenyan locomotives are diesel powered.
The cost of phase 1 of the Kenyan SGR (Mombasa-Nairobi) project was $3.6bn at current rate) and covers 472 km. phase 2A, from Nairobi-Naivasha, which is 120km estimated cost is $1.5 billion.
On the other hand, Tanzania SGR estimated cost is $1.92bn and covers 422km.
300km rail line between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro will cost $1.2bn.
The Kenya SGR-China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC)
Tanzania SGR- Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi As and Portugal’s Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção África, S.A
The government of Tanzania secured a $1.46bn concessional loan from the Standard Chartered Bank’s Group to fund the Morogoro-Dodoma SGR line.
Dar es Salaam-Morogoro
Turkey Exim Bank funded the line to the tune of $1.2 billion.
Tanzania will spend an estimated $14 billion for the entire project that will reach its border with Rwanda and cover a total distance of 2,600 kilometres.
90% Financed by the China Exim Bank while the Kenya Government funded the rest of the kes327bn ($3.8bn).
The total cost of the Phase 2A line is $1.5 billion, 85 percent funded by China Export Import bank and the remainder by the Kenyan government.
Phase 2b, that was to start from Naivasha and end in Kisumu will not be a reality anytime soon after the Chinese government bolted out of the project citing viability concerns. If the railway line was to be realized, it would have had 25 stations, six intermediate stations, and 18 crossing stations at a cost of $3.6 billion.
After the snub by the Chinese, the Kenyan government has been issuing conflicting reports on the way forward in regards to the SGR. What is however clear, the SGR terminates in Naivasha. And now that the Naivasha-Kisumu line is out of the way, Transport CS James Macharia has said that old metre gauge railway (MGR) will be upgraded from Naivasha to Ugandan border. The CS said the upgrading of the Naivasha-Nakuru-Eldoret-Malaba MGR will cost $15 billion. The line will be financed by private contractors. Next