What you need to know:
- The vehicles will be Tanzania's first electric trains.
Hyundai Rotem, the manufacturing company that is part of South Korea-based Hyundai Group, has won a $296 million contract to supply 80 electric multiple units (EMUs) and 17 electric locomotives to Tanzania.
According to reports by South Korean news agencies, the trains will be supplied to the Tanzania Railway Corporation.
The vehicles will be Tanzania's first electric trains, the company said, and will be supplied within three years.
Hyundai Rotem’s electric vehicles will be used on the 546-kilometre-railway running from Dar es Salaam to Makutupora in the Dodoma region, which was recently reconstructed during the first two phases of the Tanzania standard gauge railway project.
The deal with Hyundai follows Tanzania's plan to modernise its railroads after injecting $6.9 billion into upgrading its old rail system.
Tanzania’s railways were narrower than standard gauges, and trains had to be driven at slow speeds of between 30 to 40 kilometres per hour.
However, the new rails mean that electric locomotives and EMUs supplied by Hyundai Rotem can run at maximum speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour.
There are still three more phases left in Tanzania's SGR project, including modernising the 673-kilometre railway between Makutupora, Tabora, Isaka and Mwanza. To this end, Hyundai Rotem says it will actively bids to supply more trains.
“As our products will be Tanzania’s first electric trains, we will do our best to successfully carry out the contract,” said a spokesperson for Hyundai Rotem. “We will try to obtain additional contracts by supplying high-quality vehicles.”