TAZARA is gateway to the Eastern, Central and Southern African business markets covering both the SADC and COMESA regional groupings, runs from the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the town of New Kapiri Mposhi in Central Zambia where it links with the existing Zambia Railways System. The gauge of the line is same at 1067 millimeters (three and half feet) as that of Zambia Railways as well as all the other main trunk lines in Central and Southern Africa. Excellent, this is the really Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority, your preferred Transporter.
TAZARA was constructed through an interest free loan of Yen 988 million (about US$500 million at the time) from the Peoples’ Republic of China. This was after an agreement was concluded in Peking (Beijing) amongst the three governments of China, Tanzania and Zambia. Survey works commenced in 1968 and were completed in 1970 after which construction started immediately. Construction of the track was completed five years later in 1975 and this was two years ahead of schedule. A year later in July 1976, the line was officially handed over to the Governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Zambia.
The engineering difficulties involved in building the 1,860 kilometer long line were immense. The extent of heroism displayed by both the Chinese people, represented by their great engineers and workers, the Tanzanian and Zambian people through those who joined the Chinese for the construction of this unique railway were great. The line often passed through hostile environment which actually claimed lives of many of them along the way. Over 160 workers including 64 Chinese died during the construction of the railway. When the line was finally completed, almost 89 million cubic metres of earth and rock had been moved, 320 bridges, 22 tunnels and 2,225 culverts were built. At the height of construction, the workforce rose to 38,000 Tanzanian and Zambian workers and 13,500 Chinese technical and engineering personnel.