In an order to boost haulage capacity to meet the huge demand anticipated by the new Railway (Transportation of Heavy Goods) Regulation that was recently passed by the Zambian Minister of Transport, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has dispatched an engineer to South Africa to conduct a due diligence on five U30 mainline locomotives, which are to be hired within the next few weeks.
The Authority is also awaiting shareholders’ approval for an Open Access Agreement with a private railway operator who has already started conducting trial runs between Ndola and Dar es Salaam.
Eng. Bruno Ching’andu, TAZARA Managing Director, says the decision to hire extra locomotives and engage private operators in Open Access Agreements is meant to increase capacity to adequately handle the positive response from the market – especially in view of the passing of the Statutory Instrument (SI) that compels manufacturers in Zambia to channel 30% of bulky traffic to the railways.
“We are elated by the measures taken by the Zambian Government and, in this regard, these immediate steps we are taking are meant to assure the public and the business community of our readiness to meet the anticipated demand on our services,” he explained.
Elaborating further, Eng. Ching’andu added that “In August 2017, we signed an Open Access Agreement with Zambia Railways Limited and signed an MoU with another private railway operator, Calabash freight Limited. This was following the go-ahead granted by our shareholders in 2015, allowing us to engage private operators in order to maximise the usage of our line.”
“Everything has fallen into place and we are glad to be at the edge of some very positive developments in railway haulage,” he concluded.