Freight Rail Link between Uganda and Tanzania in the offing

The construction of a freight rail link between Tanzania and Uganda is expected to begin soon. This follows a 2011 agreement between the two countries to upgrade the existing 400 km railway from Tanga to Arusha, and construct a 480km rail track from Arusha to Musoma port. Cargo en-route to Kampala will then cross Lake Victoria by ship.

Under the $3.58 billion deal, the two countries will also construct a new Mwambani port in Tanga and expand Musoma dock and the new Kampala port at Bukasa area.

Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Tanzanian Ministry of EAC Co-operation, Amantius Msole, while not specifying the time frame for the implementation of the project, said that both the feasibility study and the engineering designs for railway would be completed by the end of this month.

Upset by costly logistical challenges between Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports, Uganda has been looking for alternative trade routes in the region.

Dr Chebrat Slepher, the Uganda’s State minister responsible for Transport , said that the new route would reduce congestion at the key regional ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. This is due to the fact that Tanga and Musoma ports will specifically handle cargo traffic destined for Uganda and South Sudan.

“The most interesting part of this project is that it would reduce congestion at the key regional ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam” Dr Slepher said during the agreement signing in Tanzania recently.

Source: The East African

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