[caption id="attachment_280" align="aligncenter" width="629"] President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Joseph Pombe Magufuli listerning details from the Chief Executive of RAHCO Masanja Kadogosa about the project for the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway during placement of the foundation stone for in Dar es Salaam[/caption] By Staff Writer Tanzania Information Services. Wednesday, 12 April, 2017. Tanzania is set to become the first country in Africa to have fast modern long distance train using both electricity and diesel power. Speaking during the official ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the new standard gauge railway line at Pugu in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam today, President of Tanzania Dr. John Pombe Magufuli said that the new train will be travelling at a speed of 160 per hour. “The new state of the art train will be the first in the continent and expected to contribute in the economic growth as well as stimulate trade within and outside the country” President Magufuli said. President Magufuli revealed that the first phase of the project which will cost 2.8 Tzs trillion involving the construction of 300 km from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro is expected to be completed within 30 months. He mention, Morocco and South Africa as countries with such modern rails but of short distance with travelling speed of 220 per hour and 150 per hour respectively. President Magufuli told the well-attended function that the project is fully funded by the government and it has already disbursed to contractors Tzs 300 billion as advance payment. Stressing the importance of the new railway line, President Magufuli said that it will facilitate easy transportation of goods from the port of Dar es Salaam to upcountry and neighboring countries in a shortest time. He added that the railway will also contribute to the increase of trade between Tanzania and its neighbors namely Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda. President Magufuli said that the construction the railway line is important as it will stimulate growth of other sector of the economy including tourism, industries, agriculture, and also create about 600,000 temporary jobs during construction phase and 30,000 permanent jobs opportunities during operations. Welcoming the president to officiate the event, Minister for Construction, Transport and Communication Professor Makame Mbarawa explained that the construction work is jointly done by two contractors from Turkey and Portugal. He said the railway has the capacity to carry 10,000 tons of goods at a go and the journey from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma will take two hours and that from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza seven hours and fourty minutes. Oh his part, board member of the Turkish company Yapi Merkei, Mr. Emre Aykar assured the President Magufuli that they will implement the project as scheduled. Mr Aykar noted that the construction of the project will enhance relations between Tanzania and Turkey.