Tazara hopes for new traction after Dar meeting

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) has decided to institute several initiatives to resuscitate flagging freight volumes on the line running south east from Dar es Salaam into Zambia.

In a statement after meeting in the Tanzania port city, Tazara executives revealed that they had decided to take four key steps towards breathing new life into the line.

Most importantly, following substantial success experienced with a private operator involved with running the line, it will serve to attract “more private operators under the open access model (OAM)”.

It will also seek to address efficiency issues by appointing a contracts manager to steward relations fostered through the OAM, which will include “the hiring of locomotives from other railway operators”.

In addition, it will work towards establishing a joint venture with a private partner to manage Tazara’s Mununga Quarry in the east of Zambia, all in a bid to generate extra capital.

Executives also stated that they would be looking towards increased public-private partnerships “to finance the re-manufacture of idle locomotives and the development of idle land assets”.

Last December it was reported that Tazara had only managed to freight about 220 000 metric tonnes, at least two thirds below the line’s projected break-even point of 600 000 metric tonnes per annum.

The statement issued after the recent board meeting in Dar said the management directives had been issued as Tazara “owns a lot of valuable assets that are either lying idle or are underutilised in most cases”.

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