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ABB to enable first electric rail link in Tanzania

ABB’s rail project will connect Dar es Salaam to neighbouring areas and spur economic and social growth

ABB has been selected to supply substation equipment and engineering solutions for a 530-km long high-speed electric line between Dar es Salaam and Makutupora.

The project is part of a larger plan to link Tanzania’s port cities with interior areas and neighbouring countries to stimulate regional trade and passenger travel in the region and help strengthen the economy.

The equipment will help power two separate but adjoining east-west rail lines – the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro railway line (DSM), and the Morogoro-Makutupora railway line (MDM).

The new high-speed electric rail line will replace a slow, narrow-gauge line built more than 100 years ago, which is not suitable for high-speed transport of cargo and passengers.

The project will provide a crucial link between the country’s most important port of Dar es Salaam and the country’s interior hub, which also serves as a vital crossroads for north-south railway linkages.

Tanzania, home to well-known game parks and destinations like Mount Kilimanjaro remains largely rural but aspires to become a regional transport hub between its port cities and hinterland areas and neighbouring land-locked countries. When complete, the rail system will provide a vital link from the neighbouring countries to the global market via Dar es Salaam and will create a development corridor to sustain future growth.

ABB will deliver a complete engineering solution and most of the key products, such as the substation automation control and protection system and ABB Ability OCC (Operational Control Centre).

The substation equipment and engineering solution will be delivered to Turkish EPC Yapi Merkezi İnşaat ve Sanayi, and the railway will be operated by the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC).

“ABB is pleased to be part of Tanzania’s pioneering effort to build the first modern electric rail infrastructure in East Africa and encourage sustainable mobility in Africa,” said Patrick Fragman, head of the grid integration business unit, a part of ABB’s Power Grids division. “ABB provides a wide range of innovative solutions for the rail sector and remains the partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

In addition to traction power solutions, ABB provides a diverse power portfolio for rail and urban transport solutions including static frequency converter stations, power quality systems, ABB Ability network management systems, energy recuperation and energy storage systems, system studies and dynamic traction power supply simulations based on powerful software tools.

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