The governments of Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi commissioned a detailed feasibility study which assessed the commercial potential of the proposed railway based on extensive market analysis.
It is envisaged that the DIKKM Railway will carry both passengers and freight.
The consultants developed three traffic scenarios, a Base Case, a Low Case and an optimistic case. By 2029, depending on the scenario, freight traffic is forecast to range from 8.5 million tonnes per annum (Low Case) to 24.7 million tonnes per annum (Optimistic Case).
The projected traffic for 2029 is shown below:
Of the 12.9 MTPA of estimated base case traffic, 5.4 million represents import traffic passing through the port of Dar s Salaam. Approximately 6.9 MTPA are related to the mining industry (either ores for export of production inputs) and a full 2.4 MTPA come from a single project – the Burundi Mines.
These market projections assume that rail tariffs would be set approximately 20% lower than truck tariffs in order to encourage shippers to select rail.
Based on the consultants’ assessment of prospects for GDP in the region and their analysis of the development of projects with potential to generate rail traffic, the traffic carried by the railway is projected to develop as follows:
The annual freight revenue under the Base Case is forecast to grow from US$0.6 billion in 202 to almost $1.8 billion by 2049.
The proposed approach is to set fares for Dar-Kigali at $0.018/km in order to be competitive with bus (current fares $0.022/km) . At this fare level, the passenger service is expected to break even. Annual ridership, system-wide, is estimated at approximately 1 million trips per annum.