Central Corridor Railroad Project

The Central Corridor Railroad (CCR) is a project to modernize the most important regional railroad in Central East Africa in order to provide efficient market access to western Tanzania and landlocked nations, unlocking the region’s economic potential. The 100 year-old railroad that extends from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, toward Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern DRC and Uganda, is the backbone of Tanzania’s transport infrastructure and the most efficient transportation route from the coast into Central East Africa.

The CCR project will modernize 1,627km of Tanzania’s existing colonial railroad infrastructure from the port of Dar es Salaam to the inland lake ports of Kigoma and Mwanza, as well as develop 460km of new railroad infrastructure from Isaka, Tanzania, into Kigali, Rwanda. The project will be phased to establish successful railroad operations prior to expansion into Rwanda and Burundi. The first phase of the CCR project will upgrade and standard gauge 977km from Dar es Salaam to Isaka in Tanzania. This route is designed to capture the majority of the existing long-haul traffic across Tanzania, and allow the trucking industry to operate more efficient routes off of the main railway line. UNITY has formed a consortium of industry leading strategic and financial partners to both develop and operate the Central Corridor Railroad on behalf of the Government of Tanzania, including Bechtel (Construction Manager), HDR Inc. (Engineering Manager), GE Transportation (Equipment Provider), and BNSF (Operations Advisor).


UNITY and our partners are committed to a developing and operating the Central Corridor Railroad in a manner that drives sustainable positive economic and social change for all stakeholders. The modernization of the Central Corridor Railroad will unlock the region’s potential for transformative economic development by reducing transit costs, increasing market access, creating jobs, and improving the quality of life for over 130 million people.


The CCR project is one of the highest economic and social investments available to Tanzania, and the returns from investment in a modern freight railroad will continue to compound for decades.

Because the project improves an existing right of way, it will not displace people groups or negatively impact the environment. Instead, the railroad will consume less fuel (3.5X fuel efficiency versus trucks), reduce transport related carbon emissions by 40%, reduce road congestion, highway accidents, and expensive road maintenance.

Within 10 years, incremental GDP growth will produce US $22.7 billion above baseline, tax revenue will rise US $6.9 billion and employment levels will grow 5%-14% above baseline expectations

Producers will have access to less expensive and more accessible business inputs, increased productivity and quality from equal investments, more efficient market pricing and physical market access, and increased local sales due to greater consumer purchasing power.

Transport cost savings translate into US $40 savings per year for the average household and reduction in prices will allow the poorest households to make more basic purchases (e.g., the CCR will drive market costs down, translating into a 5.3% decrease in total consumer basket costs, and a 7.4% decrease in food costs).

Public Services
Increased social sector funding due to additional tax revenue. Improved access to education and household ability to pay for education. Improved distribution and pricing of essential health services and supplies, and greater household ability to pay for healthcare. Increased food security and improved nutrition through increased agricultural productivity, better market access, and increased household consumption


The realization of the CCR project will unite Tanzania, DRC, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in trade and unlock the region’s potential for transformative economic development by reducing transit costs, increasing market access, creating jobs, and improving the quality of life for over 130 million Central East Africans

Regional GDP Growth
Regional GDP growth will accelerate as CCR expands into new territories that currently lack rail access. Landlocked nations’ GDP growth is projected to accelerate up to 9% above their current growth rate for 3-4 years after launch of the CCR spurs into Rwanda and Burundi.

Transportation Savings
Projected transportation cost savings to the region of $10.8 billion over 20 years, vast time savings and security advantage of modern rail transportation, and step change in transport system capacity, to handle projected regional growth.

Industry Expansion
New agricultural development (e.g. yield expansion, farming of new arable land along the Central Corridor, increased market access for small holding farmers). Growth in soft and hard commodity processing, storage, and management businesses

Employment & Capacity Building
Direct employment via construction jobs and skilled operations positions. Indirect employment in Trucking, Maritime, Engineering, Communications and IT, General Construction, Mining, Agriculture, Cement Manufacturing, Quarrying and Asphalt, Lodging, and Tourism.

Capacity building in executive management, railway operations and maintenance, train and yard operations, maintenance of way, locomotive and freight car maintenance, support functions such as IT, marketing and other professional career paths.

Technology transfer of satellite signaling, IT systems, logistics, management and accounting systems.

Delivery Team



Unity Development Group

UNITY’s team has deeper knowledge and more institutional history with the CCR project than any competitor. UNITY principals have brought more than $5 million of investment since 2007 to prove the commercial and technical viability of the project in the 2009 BNSF Feasibility Study and 2013 Feasibility Study Update. UNITY has worked with the Government of Tanzania to craft a development plan that aligns incentives to deliver the project at highest quality and lowest cost, as well as offers to not just build, but to operate and maintain the line, and pay for 100% of Tanzania’s infrastructure financing costs via the operation of the railroad. UNITY is proposing to develop the CCR project with strategic investment from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and global infrastructure investors, and UNITY has brought industry leading standard gauge railroad operating talent from the most developed freight market in the world to facilitate the launch of a world-class Tanzanian railroad operating company.

Bechtel_logo copy

Bechtel Corporation
Construction Manager

Bechtel Corporation is the largest construction and engineering company in the United States, and the 5th-largest private company in the U.S. Bechtel operates through five global business units that specialize in civil infrastructure; power generation, communications, and transmission; mining and metals; oil, gas, and chemicals; and government services. Bechtel has delivered more than 22,000 projects in 140 countries and has 53,000 employees. For the past 116 years, Bechtel has applied its expertise to complete more than 6,200 miles (10,000 kilometers) of railway, 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers) of roadways, 30 major bridges, nearly 100 airports, 80 port projects, and 25 new communities.

HDR,_Inc._logo copy

HDR, Inc.
Engineering Manager

HDR’s railroad engineering specialists have advised on the CCR project since its inception and have deep institutional project knowledge. HDR is an employee-owned architectural, engineering and consulting firm that has worked on projects in all 50 U.S. states and in 60 countries. HDR employs professionals representing hundreds of disciplines in the transportation, architecture, energy, government and private land development, resource management, and water markets. HDR is ranked #7 in the Engineering News Record 2014 Ranking for Top 50 Transportation Design Firms; #9 in the Top 25 for Mass Transit and Heavy Haul Freight Rail for 2013; and #11 in Top 500 Design Firms.


Burlington North Santa Fe (BNSF)
Operations Advisor

BNSF is the second-largest freight railroad in North America with a rail network of 32,500 route miles in 28 American states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF operates 30 intermodal facilities and serves over 40 ports. BNSF executives have advised on the CCR project since its inception and are perfectly situated to facilitate efficient purchasing, access to systems, technology and capable operating talent through their network during pre-operational construction and development.

GE_TRansportation_Logo copy

GE Transportation
Equipment Provider

GE Transportation has been a leader in the rail industry for over 100 years, providing freight and passenger locomotives, signaling and communications systems to solve the toughest rail challenges. GE builds new, remanufactures and modernizes locomotives for purchase and lease, with leading levels of customer productivity in both mainline and shortline service. More than 20,000 GE Transportation locomotives are operating in more than 60 countries around the world.