Eastern Africa News Network

Santa Claus Train: Ten New Engines and Wagons to cater for Christmas Rush

The Tanzania Railways Corporation is investing in Ten new train engines and 270 wagons and carriages in a bid to intercept the anticipated end of year holidays travelers’ rush.

The new carriages and trains will be dispatched to serve along various Railway lines routes in the country.

The Northern Railway lines for instance, anticipates handling 500 passengers per trip during the months of November and December 2022 as well as the first two weeks of January 2023.

Christmas and New-Year holidays set stage for massive rush of passengers scrambling for buses, trains and airplanes as they travel up-country to celebrate the season with parents, friends, relatives and loved ones.

Deputy Minister of Transport and Works, Atupele Mwakibete says there are ongoing efforts to repair and refurbish other engines and wagons to ensure that the rail people and cargo movement is maintained throughout the season.

He was speaking in Arusha in marking the second year milestone since the revival of the Northern Passenger and Cargo Train services, between Arusha and Dar-es-salaam Cities.

Former President, John Magufuli inaugurated the North-Bound train services in November 2020.

In the space of two years, the government managed to rake in 408 Million in revenues from the Northern Railway Line Services.

As far as Mwakibete is concerned, the Northern Railway Line is proving to be a successful investment in that more and more people seem to buy train tickets with the number expected to double during the end-of-the-year holidays season.

“Train is the cheapest mode of transport compared to buses and airplanes,” says the minister.

As it happens, the Northern route itself moves 400 passengers per trip during the time when it used to run twice a week between Arusha and Dar-es-salaam.

The Arusha Station Master, Victor Ng’ingo says they now have added another day, for the passenger train to commute thrice a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The northern train also moves 11,600 tons of cargo in a year according to the Acting TRC Director of Operations in Arusha, Focus Sahani.

The train carries mostly cement from Tanga, building materials as well as farm produce such as maize rice and legumes grown in the Southern Highlands precisely Katavi

As the result the Tanzania Railways is refurbishing 600 cargo carriages to boost the carrying capacity while at the same time repairing 37 passenger wagons.

That is in addition to the Tanzania Railways Corporation’s new order of Ten new train engines and 270 wagons and carriages in a bid to intercept the anticipated end of year holidays travelers rush.

These will be commissioned to Arusha, Kigoma, Katavi and Mwanza routes.

Related: Passenger Train Services Between Tanzania and Zambia Restart on Cheap | Tanzania Times

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