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Ethiopia and Tanzania have raised the stakes in the competition for cargo business in the region by introducing electric trains.
While Kenya’s diesel-powered cargo train took its maiden trip on the standard gauge railway to Nairobi from the port of Mombasa carrying 216 containers on January 1, Ethiopia inaugurated its 756km $4 billion electrified rail connecting Addis Ababa to Djibouti.
And on Wednesday, Tanzania, through its state-run railway firm Reli Assets Holding Company (Rahco) put out a tender for the supply of electric locomotives, 14 of which will carry cargo. Tanzania has set aside funds for the purchase of the engines and carriages.
“It is intended that part of the proceeds of the funds would be used to cover eligible payment under the contract for supply, testing, commissioning and training of rolling stock for the SGR railway system to operate in the Tanzania central railway corridor,” reads part of the advertisement announcing the tender.
Dar is seeking the supply, testing and commissioning of the electric locomotives for freight trains and five electric multiple units. The railway firm is also looking for the supply of three electric locomotives for departmental trains, 15 first-class coaches and 45 economy-class coaches.
To supplement the electric locomotives, Tanzania is also looking at receiving two diesel locomotives for freight trains, 600 flat wagons, 500 box wagons, 200 oil tankers, 50 bulk wagons, 70 gondola wagons, 50 ballast hoppers and 50 double stack container wagons.
This article first appeared on www.theeastafrican.co.ke
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