The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) recently announced that freight volume increased by +9.4% in Q3 2016 to 29,061t from 26,571t in Q3 2015.
Passengers transported between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri-Mposhi rose by +20.2% in Q3 2016 to 133,863 from 111,335 in Q3 2015.
Passenger traffic between Makambako and Kidatu in Tanzania rose by +58% in Q3 2016 to 78,246 from 66,522 in Q3 2015.
The Dar es Salaam commuter train transported 751,693 passengers in Q3 2016, compared to 513,899 passengers in the corresponding quarter of 2015.
TAZARA reported improvements in most operational indices in freight operations, including overall enhanced and consistent security and safety in train operations.
The improvements recorded in Q3 2016 were mostly attributed to continued interventions by the Governments of Tanzania and Zambia through the provision of working capital support, which facilitated an enabling business environment and stability in operations.
TAZARA operates the Tanzania-Zambia railway since its inception in 1975.
China funded the project mainly to provide an alternative route to export copper from Zambia to Dar es Salaam.
In the 1990s, the economic performance of the railway began to decline and continued deteriorating over the next 20 years.
However, since 2010 China has been helping TAZARA to revive its operations. Still, TAZARA infrastructure cannot currently meet today’s development demand.
This is why revitalizing TAZARA is among the intentions of Tanzania, Zambia, and China.
In 2015–2016, TAZARA’s annual freight traffic reached 130,000t, from 87,000t in 2014–2015, representing an increase of 49%.
TAZARA plans to achieve a breakeven freight volume of 600,000 tons per annum in the short-run and 2m tons in the next 5 years.