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U.S. awards $653,600 grant to support Tanzania’s railway upgrade

U.S. awards $653,600 grant to support Tanzania’s railway upgrade

The U.S. government has awarded Tanzania’s Ministry of Infrastructure Development a $653,600 grant to support the development of a regional rail transportation corridor.

   The grant, which was awarded under the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s African Trade Lanes Partnership, will fund early investment analysis on a proposed upgrade to the Dar es Salaam to Isaka Railway.

   The current railway from Dar es Salaam to Isaka dates from the early 1900s and is narrow gauge. The USTDA grant will be used to evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of upgrading the railway to standard gauge, which would allow trains to carry more weight per car, more cars per train, and move trains up to three times faster than the current railway.

   The proposed railway upgrade is part of the Central Development Corridor plan for Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. In combination with improvements at the Port of Dar es Salaam and construction of a new Isaka to Kigali, Rwanda rail link, the corridor would convey freight from the Port of Dar es Salaam to a “dry port” at Isaka and onward to land-locked Rwanda.

   Tanzania’s Ministry of Infrastructure Development has selected Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to carry out the USTDA-funded study. In addition, BNSF will contribute additional resources toward the study’s completion, the USTDA said.

   The African Trade Lanes Partnership was started in April 2008 to advance the development of sub-Saharan Africa’s most vital trade lanes and transportation networks to facilitate local, regional and global trade. The two-year, $4 million initiative is designed to promote regional cooperation and connectivity in all modes of transportation including aviation, maritime, land and rail.

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