Construction of a Standard Gauge Railway Line in Tanzania

Client Tanzania Railways Corporation
Planning period 2017 – ongoing
Services Review of Design, Supervision and Management of Works


To optimize the connection of the central African back country to the million-strong metropolis and port city Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is building a modern railway line. The line runs on 1,200 kilometers, in large sections along the historic meter gauge railway, which was built during German colonial times between Dar es Salaam and Kigoma. The new line will connect Dar es Salaam the Indian Ocean and Mwanza at Lake Victoria.

The line is divided into 5 lots:

  • Lot 1: Dar es Salaam – Morogoro, ab. 205 km, 95 km of sidings, including 5 stations (major Station in DSM), Marshalling Yard and Dry Port
  • Lot 2: Morogoro to Makutopora, ab. 336 km, 86 km of sidings, including 7 stations, 4 tunnels with total length of 2,6 km
  • Lot 3: Makutopora – Tabora, ab. 294 km of main track, 74 km of sidings, including 7 stations and 3 Freight yards
  • Lot 4: Tabora – Isaka, ab. 130 km of main track, 35 km of sidings, including 11 stations and marshalling yards
  • Lot 5: Isaka – Mwanza, ab. 249 km of main track, 92 km of sidings, including 11 stations and marshalling yards 

In 2017, construction works at lots 1 and 2 started, which run on approx. 540 kilometers until Makutopora, through Tanzania’s administrative capital Dodoma. SSF is part of the Korail Joint Venture under the lead of the Korean railway company Korea Railroad Corporation as a partner responsible for project management consultancy, site supervision and FIDIC engineer. The scope of works includes design review, construction management and supervision in the field of civil works, electrification, signaling and telecommunications (ETCS L2).

On 30 January 2021, the works for lot 5 started in Mwanza with great media coverage. It comprises the design and construction of another 249-km long electrified railway line between the city of Isaka in central Tanzania and Mwanza, the country’s second largest city. Contrary to lots 1 and 2, built by the Turkish company Yapı Merkezi İnşaat, this lot was awarded to the Chinese consortium China Civil Engineering Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC). Korail joint venture received the “Letter to Commence”; and henceforth, SSF is again a partner company working as project management consultant and FIDIC engineer.

On 08th March 2022 works have started for Lot 3, Makutopora to Tabora and on 25th August 2022 also works for the final section, Lot 4 between Tabora and Isaka. Therefore, in the meantime, the whole line is under construction.

Technical data:
Total length ab. 1,200 km main line; single-tracked, electrified
Ve: 160 km/h (passenger traffic), 120 km/h (freight traffic)
Axel load: 35 t
Gauge width: 1.435 mm
Bridge structures: ab. 1,700 bridges and culverts along the line
Stations: >30 (passenger, freight stations, marshalling yards and depots) Signaling technology: ETCS Level II
Electrification: 2x25 KV auto-transformer