History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road Services

by David Snowden

Dedication and Acknowledgements
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Charles William Snowden
Dedicated to my father, Charles William Snowden (1915 - 1994), who joined the East African Railways and Harbours (Road Services) as the Mechanical Inspector at Iringa in 1950. In 1955 he was appointed Motor Transport Officer and remained with the Road Services until April 1964 when he returned to the UK.

I should like to thank friends and fonner colleagues of my father who have assisted me in writing this short history of the Tanganyika Road Services: Les Ottaway, John Wall, Stan Pritchard, Doug Golding, Marion Gough (Doug Golding's daughter) and Jean Doubleday. My particular thanks go to Stan Pritchard for allowing me to reproduce extracts from his book "Driving Mad" and to Marion Gough for providing me with photos and copies of her father's papers.

The Beginning
In October 1940 the Tanganyika Government asked the Tanganyika Railways and Port Services (TR&PS) to run a road service between Morogoro on the Central Line and Korogwe on the Tanga Line, a distance of 178 miles. The TR&PS were asked to run this service because a lack of shipping and the irregularity of sailings meant that it was becoming increasingly difficult to move goods between Tanga and Dar-es-Salaam. "This has proved most successful", Mr Robins (General Manager) wrote, "and in view of the decrease of coastal shipping services has fulfilled a most useful function. The service became an integral part of the transport services at the end of the year. The rather primitive facilities will be improved as opportunity permits."

In 1942 a first class bus service, using a number of 7 -seater safari cars built on 10-cwt chassis, was introduced between Morogoro and Korogwe. The fares charged were double the normal second-class fare on the ordinary bus. This service proved extremely successful and by 1943 demand was so heavy, especially for carrying troops, that all ordinary goods traffic was diverted to the sea route between Tanga and Dar-es-Salaam - only passengers and baggage were carried by road.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Iringa Headquarters Staff - c1960
In 1942 the TR&PS were asked by the Government to provide a road service from Dodoma to the Southern Highlands. This service was inaugurated on 1st January 1943. At the time there was a shortage of vehicles in Tanganyika and consequently the railways had to purchase second-hand vehicles. Many of them were in a bad state of repair, there was a shortage of spares, roads were bad, the drivers poorly trained and there was a lack of suitable workshop facilities for proper maintenance. Despite these difficulties, by 1944 the service was able to carry not only the normal traffic to and from the Southern Highlands but also large quantities of food for famine relief, labour to and from the sisal and rubber plantations and provide transport support for the refugee camps in the Southern Highlands. In 1944 a road service was started from Mombo to Lushoto.

In 1944, as a result of the expansion of the Road Services, N E Spencer was appointed Assistant Traffic Superintendent - an additional post.1 In 1945 Stanley Martin was appointed Foreman Grade 1 Motor Transport Services2.

During the years 1946 to 1948 the Road Services continued to operate under very difficult conditions with inadequate workshop facilities and unsuitable vehicles. Many of the vehicles had been bought during the war, had been worked hard and were in poor condition. Although in 1948 the Road Services' fleet consisted of 250 assorted vehicles many had been fully depreciated and were waiting their turn to be scrapped. Despite these problems, the volume of traffic carried increased, rates were kept at a reasonable level and the revenue earned steadily increased. Orders were placed for large diesel-engine vehicles that later became the mainstay of the road service fleet.

During 1947 a new passenger road service was started between Arusha and Dodoma, a passenger and goods service between Arusha and Oldeani and when the Singida line was closed it was replaced by a road service between Singida and Itigi.

The Formation of EAR&H
On 1 st May 1948 the TR&PS merged with the Kenya and Uganda Railways and Harbours (KUR&H) to form East African Railways and Harbours (EAR&H). The Headquarters was established in Nairobi.

In Uganda, EAR&H operated a small passenger and freight road service between Masindi Port on Lake Kioga and Butiaba on Lake Albert, a distance of 75 miles. The Headquarters and workshops, under a European Motor Transport Officer, were based at Masindi Town. The service closed in 1963 when the marine services on Lakes Kioga and Albert ceased as a result of the opening ofthe Soroti-Lira-Gulu rail link.

Managing the Road Services
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Iringa Hotel
When EAR&H formed the Road Services came under the Mechanical Department. On 15th May 1950 the management of the Road Services was transferred to the Transportation Department (Superintendent of the Line). "A Motor Transport Officer was appointed in direct charge of the services but under the administrative control of the District Traffic Superintendent, Dodoma, and answerable direct to the Superintendent of the Line on all mechanical matters. His headquarters were established in Iringa.3

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Iringa Bus Station
Then on 1st January 1952 all road services were placed under the control of the newly established Commercial Department with a Road Motor Engineer in charge. On 1st January 1955 central control was strengthened by the appointment of an Assistant Superintendent (Roads) based at the Commercial Headquarters in Nairobi. A Road Transport Superintendent, based at Iringa, was responsible for day to day operations. On 1 st October 1966 the Commercial and Operating Departments were merged into the Traffic Department.

In 1950 my father joined EAR&H as Mechanical Inspector and we moved to Iringa - from Nairobi where he had worked for Gailey and Roberts. I remember it took nearly a week to get there. We travelled by train from Nairobi to Kisumu on Lake Victoria, then by lake steamer to Mwanza in Tanganyika, by train to Dodoma, and finally by road to Iringa. There was no house for us and so we lived, along with a number of other European families, in the Iringa Hotel for 18 months until houses were built. We had a suite of rooms at one end of the hotel but facilities were fairly basic. For example, there was no electricity in Iringa although the hotel had a generator: every evening a tractor was driven up to the hotel and a large belt was connected from the tractor's drive pulley to the generator.

Writing in his book, Driving Mad, Stan Pritchard (Traffic Inspector) recalls his introduction to the Road Services:

"I was standing in the middle of Tanzania (then pre-independence Tanganyika) holding an ex-army jerry can in my hand. A score or more of African males stood in a line facing me. The next to step forward was a Masai warrior. He jammed his spear into the ground, hung on to it with his left hand and, with his right hand, flung aside his ochre coloured garment to reveal his nakedness from his belly button down to his toes. Then, with great aplomb, began to urinate in the general direction of the can.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Doug Golding
"In it, not at it!" I yelled as warm liquid trickled down my hand. The Masai grinned and, though my tactful instructions delivered in my best Lancastrian accent obviously puzzled him, said a cheery "Ndiyo Bwana". As the last few drops dribbled into the can I called out "Next!" - and wondered how the hell I had got myself into this situation.

I had few qualms about performing this function, vital to the efficient working of the Road Services branch of the East African Railways and Harbours Administration, but I couldn't say, in all honesty, that I was enjoying it. The old Albion bus on which I was travelling sprang a leak in the radiator and, when all the spare water he was carrying was used up, the driver had no alternative but to resort to more desperate measures. As he lined up all the male passengers by the side of the road he handed me the empty can with instructions to collect all the liquid which would soon materialise.
My Introduction to African Roads
Albion Bus

Whilst I admired his initiative, I was anything but comfortable with my part in it, but felt I couldn't refuse. Here I was, not long out from England, from where I and nine others had been seconded to the East African Railways in 1951, and was on my way to Dodoma in central Tanganyika, to take up my post as District Traffic Inspector on the Road Services.

The main railway line ran for nearly 600 miles from east to west and connected the Indian Ocean port of Dar-es-Salaam with the inland ports of Mwanza and Kigoma on Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika. The many scattered townships and villages to the north and south of the railway line were served, in the 1950s and 60s, by a fleet of buses and lorries operating out of railheads at Morogoro, Dodoma and Itigi by the road services branch of the Railway.

None of my seconded colleagues from British Railways - all keen railway buffs - wanted anything to do with the Road Services, but I was in my element. I would have a brand new Austin A 70 car provided for the job, two thousand miles of Tanganyika bush roads over which to drive it, and twenty odd stations and depots to supervise. I couldn't have been happier. It was the answer to my boyhood dreams."

Stan Pritchard also recalls his introduction to the Road Service drivers:

"...Within an hour my prayers were answered in the form of one of our railway buses. I could see it in the rear mirror, lights ablaze, crawling steadily forward through the deep mud and rain as nonchalantly as an ocean liner coping with a Channel storm.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Albion Trucks
With the aid of a wire rope, a knowledgeable, cheerful bus driver, and 120 horsepower of throbbing diesel power, the car, and L were dragged along the bottom of the ditch - but no matter what I did with the steering wheel I couldn't get the car to climb out and back up onto the road. The bus driver stopped, stepped down from his cab and, pushing his cap to the back of his head, looked wonderingly for a few long moments at the beleaguered car. Then, shaking his head - and me waiting for some knowledgeable pearl of wisdom to come forth - he began to speak. In a depressing tone, and still shaking his head slowly, "Mbaya sana bwana," was all he said.

'Well that's a great help!' I thought. "Look," Said I - "I can see as well as you can that it is very bad but think, what can we do about it?"

He pondered this question for a moment then, with a huge grin, said, "I know! I get all the way out of the bus and they lift you out. OK?" This seemed a rather drastic solution but, before I could object, he opened the rear door of the third class compartment and propelled all the protesting passengers out into the rain - men, women and children, it made no difference. He paid no heed to their grumbling but, like a bossy sergeant major, lined them up all round the car and, in Swahili, called out something which sounded like "One, two three!" Suddenly, with an intense grunt and almighty heave, the car was lifted bodily and deposited back on the road.

I wanted to thank the, now rain soaked, passengers for their noble effort but, before I could say a word, they vanished back into the shelter of the bus and slammed the door. I did, however, tell the driver how much I appreciated what he had done and would inform head office and have it recorded on his personal file. "Ahsanta sana, bwana," he said with a grin, and obviously pleased.

He was a nice fellow but, being a conscientious inspector, I felt I had to make amends for all the working time I had wasted in the ditch so, why not check this bus? I asked to see his papers and, one of the first things I noticed was the mail bags he was carrying were destined for Kondoa Irangi, Babati and Arusha to the north, and this bus was heading south to Iringa. Surely something was wrong? I questioned the driver about this, but he was adamant. He always drove the Iringa route he said and the loading clerk at Dodoma must have put the bags on the wrong bus. Then I checked the passengers' tickets, and this is where the confusion really set in. The third class passengers at the rear of the bus, still dripping water and not very happy to see me again, all had tickets for Iringa, but the three passengers patiently waiting in the dry and cosy comfort of the 'superior class' at the front, had tickets for Kondoa Irangi.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Kipogoro Rest Stop
They were three three young females, all wearing crosses round their necks. They were new missionaries, they explained, just out from Europe and on their way to their first posting in Jver Africa - a mission station near Kondoa Irangi. They were obviously worried about the delay. "Excuse me," said the eldest in a strong continental accent "but I wonder if we can go now. We are being met at the Kondoa Irangi bus stop and do not want our hosts to be kept waiting too long in this rain."

"It's that stupid booking clerk's fault at Dodoma," said the driver. "I always drive to Iringa, way and he knows that. He put them and the mail bags on the wrong bus. " But the mail bags, and the the driver's documents, which he admitted he hadn't looked at very closely, clearly showed that he should, on this day at least, be going to Kondoa Irangi and Arusha. Whilst I was pondering how to sort out this little problem, and the missionaries became more and more of agitated, another bus came lumbering into view. This one was clearly destined for Iringa, and not only had a few vacant seats in the third class compartment, but the superior class was completely empty. I decided to transfer all the third class passengers from the Arusha bus on to it - but didn't bargain for the chaos which resulted. Nobody it seemed was interested in the vacant third class seats and, despite my feeble protests, goats, chickens and passengers all crammed themselves into the carpeted luxury of the front compartment - but I ana was now past caring.

The missionaries became even more confused, and worried, when, with the aid of two bus loads of third class passengers helping to push and shove, we slid their bus round to face the other way. "Where are we going?" they asked.

Putting on what I thought was a disarming smile I said, "Kondoa Irangi, " and hoped that would satisfy them. But it didn't. When I saw the alarm on their faces I felt I had to add something more. Though backing off telling a blatant lie I condensed my explanation to only a half truth. "Kondoa is a few miles back up the road," I said, "but don't worry, you'll get there, and hopefully your hosts won't have to wait too long."

"Oh dear!" was the response of the eldest of the missionaries, "We are so sorry if we missed the stop and have caused you all this trouble. It is very kind of you to turn the bus round for us and we thank you very very much. We will pray for you - and may God bless you. " A pang of conscience swept over me as I thanked them politely and sheepishly crept back to the drier confines of my car. However much these kind ladies prayed for me I was sure God was most unlikely to bless me, let alone forgive me. I couldn't blame him if he had me destined for somewhere rather hot at the end of my earthly days. And, with that unsettling thought, I pressed the starter and resumed battle with the slippery muddy track on my drive to Iringa."

1948 Onwards
By 1948 EAR&H was operating both passengers and goods road services over a 1686 route mile network on the following routes: Iringa to Dodoma, Iringa to Mbeya, Itigi to Mbeya, Itigi to Singida, Dodoma to Arusha, Arusha to Oldeani, Morogoro to Korogwe and Mombo to Lushoto and Malindi.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Rest Stop
When Les Ottaway (Accounts Department) joined EAR&H in 1948 there were no staff cars and whenever he travelled the roads, with Margaret his wife, he had to beg a lift, usually in an old Bedford truck. Les, who now lives in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, tells the following story:

"It had been a hot dusty and tiring day way back in 1948. We had left Sao Hill in the Southern Highlands of Tanganyika in the early morning and now in the late afternoon with Chimala River behind us we chugged slowly and hesitantly up the winding corrugated murram road in our clattering ramshackle Bedford truck of ancient vintage. With steam hissing and spitting under the crumpled rusty tin bonnet we reached the top of the escarpment and after a brief stop to cool down the reluctant engine we clattered down and around the last few miles to the small town of Mbeya and came to a shuddering stop at the Mbeya Hotel.

Red dust and grime washed off, we sank into the lounge chairs and ordered long cool drinks. It would take an hour to get over that nine hour ordeal from Sao Hill to Mbeya by way of Njombe and Chimala River!

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Loaded Leyland Beaver
As we sat there a bleary eyed old timer with khaki shorts reaching below his knobbly knees kept staring across at us. After a while he came across and without a smile on his weatherbeaten face gave us a belligerent look and in a loud not-so-friendly voice enquired, "Are you cross? " We were taken aback at this unwarranted intrusion by a stranger and to be truthful we were both feeling somewhat cross and irritable after the long and tiring journey.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Albion Buses
Speaking up I replied, "No, I'm not cross", and thinking, "It's none of his business anyway ". The old timer spoke up again, a look of relief on his face and not so unfriendly this time, "I'm so sorry, I thought you might be Cross, the Government Auditor. I'm supposed to meet him", and with that he turned his back on us and stumped away.

We had both got our wires crossed it seems!"

During the last quarter of 1949 until March 1950 large areas of central Tanganyika were stricken by severe drought. The Government used the Road Services to move large quantities of famine relief food from Dodoma to Iringa for distribution.

In 1951 a Dak4 Bungalow5 was opened at Itigi - the junction with the Central Line and Road Services. Initially lighting was by kerosene lamps but generators were installed 1953. Arthur Beckenham, in his book Wagon of Smoke, describes Itigi: "Itigi is the junction for the Road Services to Mbeya via Chunya, but apart from the station, garages, a rest house and a few native houses there is nothing: it is like an oasis in a desert of bush. Here I saw some of the l0-ton Albion lorries which do the 302 mile journey southward to Mbeya through tsetse fly infected country."

Road Service traffic increased by more than 10% between 1949 & 1950. Consequently, vehicles had to be hired to keep the traffic moving and two trucks were transferred from the Uganda Road Services to Iringa.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Iringa Depot
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Dodoma Hotel
Up to 1961 the network was continually changing to meet traffic demands, increased competition and because new rail lines took over some Road Service routes. For example, in 1955 a new passenger bus service was introduced from Nairobi to Arusha. By 1961 the network operated in Tanganyika had expanded to 2,611 miles.

In 1954 new Road Service depots were built at Morogoro and Mbeya and extensive improvements made to the Iringa depot.

In March 1950 the Dodoma Hotel opened. In 1955 the Iringa Hotel (24 bedrooms) was purchased and in September 1955 the Mbeya Hotel was opened.

Vehicle Fleet
Vehicles were based at depots around Tanganyika and were maintained by Asian and African staff working under the supervision of European Road Service Foremen, who in 1956 numbered 25 but by 1961 had been reduced to 16 as more effective vehicles became available and operating efficiency improved. Depots were located at Iringa (main workshops), Mbeya, Itigi, Dodoma, Arusha, Morogoro and Korogwe. The fleet had been built up during World War 11 and consisted of a collection of petrol engine vehicles of different makes with low capacity:

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road

By 1953 a new all Albion diesel-engined fleet had been purchased and this allowed a standard maintenance programme to be used all depots. My father was largely responsible for this programme - see the testimonial on page 47. This all Albion policy was maintained and the fleet variations from then on were in number only:

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road

The above table includes Uganda where Road Services were operated between Masindi Town and the lakes.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Leyland Beaver Tanker
In 1951 my father took 6 Albion trucks to Johannesburg, South Africa, to have bus bodies fitted by Brockhouse Ltd. He took the convoy overland through what was then Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia and was away for nearly six months. I remember the convoy returning to Iringa - such was the interest that the whole town must have turned out to see them. He also brought me back a brand new bike! The first time the drivers had encountered traffic lights was in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. Dad had briefed the drivers that they were to go on green and stop on red. One of the buses was half way across a busy cross roads when the lights changed to red. The driver just stopped, as he had been told to do! It took some time to sort out the ensuing chaos!

Occasionally, during peak periods, private goods vehicles were hired to clear backlogs. In 1957 the purchase of 5 new Leyland Bulk tankers (a mix of 2,500 and 3000 gallon capacity) increased the tanker fleet to 18 - the 13 original tankers only had a 1,500 gallon capacity. Tankers were used to carry petrol and diesel from Dodoma (where various companies have bulk storage installations) to petrol stations throughout the Southern Highlands. Additional tankers were added to the fleet in 1962 and 1963.

Road Conditions
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Nyongoro Bridge
During the 1950s road traffic increased quite considerably and so the government invested in a number of new trunk roads, eg Iringa to Morogoro. However, it was both difficult and expensive to maintain roads to an all-year round standard. Road surfaces were mainly earth, with short and intermittent stretches of gravel or ballast and covered with corrugations, ruts and potholes. Not just for a few miles, but for hundreds of miles. In some places the road was soft sand, elsewhere red earth (murram) or black-cotton soil. In dry weather clouds of dust were a driving hazard and during wet weather thick mud made movement slow and treacherous. Only permanent rivers were bridged. Those which only flowed during the rainy seasons had 'drifts' across them - a flat concrete road surface built about 1 '3" above the river bed. However, they were often impassable because the water was usually deep and fast flowing.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Road Conditions
Stan Pritchard describes the first time he drove on Tanganyika's roads:

Shortly after my arrival in Dodoma the District Traffic Superintendent handed me the keys to a brand new Austin A 70 'pick-up' which I was to use on my inspection duties. He instructed me to drive back up the Great North Road to Arusha and carry out a thorough inspection of the depot there, and also call in and check the small wayside stations of Kondoa Irangi and Babati on the way.

Arusha, the northernmost depot on the Tanganyika Road Services, was an attractive small town nestled 4,000 feet up in the foothills of Mount Meru and close to the more majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. It had a cool agreeable climate and I looked forward to a few days pleasant outing - but was not so enthusiastic about tackling the brutally rough 280 miles of earth and stony road to get there. I had sampled the road as a passenger sitting comfortably in a tough Albion bus on the way down, but what would it he like driving over it in a flimsy car? And driving alone through strange hostile territory? And what if the radiator sprung a leak? I wouldn't have any male passengers aboard to provide the necessary liquid for topping it up.

I don't think the DTS had any more confidence in my driving ability than I had. He explained at great length some of the perils of driving on rough Tanganyika bush roads, such as over corrugations and through deep loose sand with its tendency to throw vehicles off line and into dangerous skids. And in heavy downpours of rain, when the roads turned to slippery mud, they were even more treacherous, he emphasised. "Just remember, " he added, "driving out here is not like cruising along England's, or even Nairobi's, tar-sealed roads - here it is a perpetual battle between you, the car, and what ever sort of ground surface passes for a road".

With a packet of sandwiches and vacuum flask full of tea, and the DTS's stern warning not to exceed 30 mph during the first 500 miles running period, and his parting words of "not to bend it", still reverberating in my ears I set off.

The corrugations on the relatively wide section of stony road just outside Dodoma bounced and rattled the car up and down in an alarming manner. The vibrations made me feel I was holding a pneumatic drill instead of a steering wheel, and even my head bounced high enough up occasionally to hit the roof The car felt it was going to shake apart and, even more worrying, I couldn't keep it going in a straight line. It was a most unnerving situation with the car constantly sliding from one side of the road to the other.

Fortunately, when the bouncing around caused my foot to slip and bang the accelerator down to the floor board, I found how to improve the situation. The car accelerated for a few seconds and, almost miraculously, the vibrations eased noticeably. With a slightly guilty conscience I deliberately disobeyed the DTS's instructions, pushed my foot harder down, and speeded up to 35 mph. Without a doubt, progress became marginally smoother. Encouraged by this, I crept up to 40 mph and then - very guiltily - even to 45 mph. At this recklessly high speed the steering wheel felt less like a deranged pneumatic drill; the rear wheels weren't bouncing around out of control so much and my head was no longer hitting the roof I felt a little happier - but not much.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Road Conditions
Though the bumping and bounding up and down eased slightly, the car was still skidding all over the place but now, to my alarm, the skids were even more difficult to control. The car would turn progressively sideways and slide at high speed almost at right angles to the road. This was worrying as I was having to turn my head further and further round just to see the road, not through the windscreen, but now through the side window. It was most uncomfortable, and I had to do something about it otherwise I felt I would soon be travelling along the road backwards - and I certainly couldn't turn my head that far round! By painful trial and error, I quickly learned to leave the brakes alone and just lift my foot off the accelerator, then, very gently and very gradually, turn the steering wheel and try to coax the car into a straight line. It required much concentration, and I had a few hair-raising moments when I occasionally over corrected and brushed against roadside shrubs but, gradually, began to get the hang of it.

With rising confidence, and the DTS's instructions about running the car in momentarily forgotten, I began to enjoy the challenge and thrill of sliding along over these loose surfaces at higher and higher speeds. It was fun - but soon came a shattering setback. A battered signpost loomed into view. There were no 'ifs' or 'buts' about it. In large faded letters it said, quite categorically, "Slow Down - Speeding Causes Corrugations". This was a blow, but I dutifully obeyed. The steering wheel again began to vibrate and the car to shake and bounce around violently and uncontrollably. It seemed to me that my slower pace was making the corrugations worse. So, torn between obeying the law and keeping the car in one piece, I chose the latter. And I learned later, from a PWD engineer, that the signs were a great 'con' anyway. He told me that much research had been done into the formation of corrugations - but nobody had found the answer, and there was little evidence that speeding was the cause. So I carried on speeding.

The road gradually changed from wide and stony to narrow, bendy and dusty, and corrugations gave way to a rutted surface littered with potholes. This posed different sorts of a problems for me. The constant vibration and sliding around of corrugations gave way to a slightly smoother ride, but was interspersed with jarring bangs whenever a wheel hit one of the potholes - and they were so numerous it was impossible to dodge them all. Even worse was the feeling of helplessness, with all control of steering lost, whenever a front wheel lodged itself in one of the deep fissures which sometimes ran down the middle of the road.

After a couple of hours of this I decided I needed a break so, seeing a huge baobab tree ahead I stopped in its shade and began to nibble at my sandwiches. 'This is the life', I thought, 'fresh air, sunshine and wide open spaces'. Even if the road surfaces were challenging this was much better than working in a dreary old railway office in the industrial north of England. I was suddenly woken from my euphoria to see a baboon appear on some roadside rocks and sit there watching me eat. Animal lover that I am I threw a piece of sandwich to it, and other baboons quickly appeared. I threw out more pieces of sandwich to them and enjoyed watching their antics as more and more of them acted and fought with each other for bits of stale bread and bully beef They were enjoying it far more than I was, I thought.

The car was soon surrounded by a road full of squabbling baboons. At first it was amusing, but became a problem when I wanted to get on my way again. No amount of horn tooting or frantic 'shooing' and waving of my hand out of the window would move them. I was becoming a little apprehensive, but was too scared to get out of the car to chase them away. When one cheeky fellow jumped on the bonnet, and glared at me through the windscreen I even hesitated to drive into the mob. I didn't want to injure or upset them, and I certainly didn't want to arrive in Arusha with an angry baboon or two still sitting on the bonnet clinging to the windscreen wipers. So, summoning up all my courage, I gingerly opened the door a few inches, reached down, and picked up a sizeable rock from the road. 'Right', I thought, 'if you lot want to be stubborn then I too can get tough'. With that I hurled the rock into the middle of the group. Most of them scattered, but one old fellow, bigger than the rest, had other ideas. He picked up the rock and, with surprising rapidity leapt towards the car - and flung the rock back! I cringed as, with a sickening clang, it bounced off the front of my shiny new car.

On my return to Dodoma a few days later the newest car in the railway fleet was closely examined by some of the old garage hands to see if this greenhorn to Tanganyika's dusty tracks had managed to keep it on the road. They looked at the small, but conspicuous, dent and nodded their heads knowingly. When the DTS arrived and surveyed the damage I was lectured at great length on how to handle a vehicle on loose murram surfaces, and told that young greenhorns', like me, really had to learn how to drive all over again when they went out on African roads.

"But Sir" I said - this was in an age when one was expected to call one's superior 'Sir', and certainly were in the British Colonial Service, and before there were any 'Madams' in such exalted positions - "the dent had nothing to do with me".

"What do you mean, 'nothing to do with you'? You were the only one driving weren't you"?

When I came up with the devastatingly simple reply that, "a monkey chucked a rock at it", the garage foreman gave the sort of expression that said I was even dafter than I looked, and I distinctly heard him mutter, "We've got a right one here!" But the DTS wasn't so philosophical.

"Look here young man", he said, rather unkindly I thought, "Any more cheeky comments like that and you'll be on the next boat to England, and back to British Railways".

1 got the impression I hadn't made a very promising start to my career on the Tanganyika Road Services. "

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Albion and Bedford Buses
In Wagon of Smoke, Arthur Beckenham describes a bus journey he undertook in September 1950 from Dodoma to Iringa and then on to Mbeya and Tukuyu:

"Wed. 13 Sept. (Road Service) At 09.20 hours we departed in convoy, 20 minutes late, a 6- ton Albion lorry leaving, carrying mails and freight with a two-mile headway: and two (Bedford) passenger buses. The Albion was given this headway due to the dusty condition of the roads. The reason that it leads is that if it breaks down the mails are taken on by one of the buses. Once out of Dodoma township we ran onto the notorious corrugations and potholes of the earth surfaced Great North Road .... at Mile 44, a small escarpment at approximately 3.000 feet as!. Just beyond Mile 82 a further small escarpment is reached which descends down onto the plain of the Great Ruaha River. The twin span bridge, newly painted with aluminium paint, can be seen many miles before it is reached. From Mile 155 the road gradually rises all the way to Iringa, which is 5,200 feet as!. Ten miles before Iringa one passes Nduli airport, one runway is across the road, and we were brought to a halt whilst an East African Airways plane took off. Iringa is surrounded by hills in a pleasant setting and the main street was lined with lovely mauve jacaranda trees. The evening temperature was quite low and a log fire burned in the hotel lounge fireplace.

Thur. 14 Sept. The run to-day is of 187 miles to Chimala. Our lunch stop was at the Highlands hotel at Sao Hill, in attractive open country rather like the Scottish Moors. During the afternoon we crossed the Mbarali river and passed close to 19awa where gold is mined. We were now following along the foothills of the Poroto mountains.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Doug Golding
The Chimala Hotel, where we arrived at 17.05 hours, consists of a main building housing the lounge and dining room, whilst the individual rooms are little round white houses with thatched roofs, the whole place is set in an orchard of lemon and grapefruit trees, with the high hills of the Porotos in the immediate background. From the lounge balcony one could look northwards for forty to fifty miles across the Buhoro Flats.

Fri. 15 Sept. Thirteen miles after leaving Chimala we began the great climb over the Poroto range. The summit at Mile 220 is 7,500 feet. We arrived in Mbeya, a place in appearance like a Swiss mountain village, at 11.10 hours.

Sat. 16 Sept. Visited Tukuyu, 47 miles to the south, travelling over a very dusty road. The southerly extremity of my trip. Part of the route was over another part of the Poroto range, with a good view of Rungwe Mountain (9,700 feet). The District Commissioner's Boma is what used to be an old German fort, and the battlements and thick walls look very resolute. Back again in Mbeya, I explored the town. In the evening I met Mr. K. Menzie6 the Englishman who started Mbeya, he was a living history book. "

Other Hazards
Besides the natural hazards other events occurred involving wild animals and swarms of bees, but perhars one of the most bizarre concerned a snake as reported in the June 1954 EAR&H Staff Magazine:

"An Unwelcome Travelling Companion. An unusual and unpleasant experience befell a lorry crew between Dodoma and Iringa recently when a snake about 5 ft long fell on to the vehicle from an overhanging tree. The Road Service Foreman who was called used smoke bombs and these drove the snake on to the top of the engine cover, where it vanished. The snake was later seen in the cab of the vehicle but once again it disappeared. The following morning the van boy succeeded in killing the snake with a knife."

Theft and loss of goods on the Road Services were a continual problem and during 1955 a concerted effort was made to tackle the problem on the worst route - Itigi to Mbeya (304 miles). Stan Pritchard was tasked with tackling the problem and recounts:

"In the mid 1950's Nairobi HQ were getting worried about the rising amounts of compensation we were paying out for losses on the Itigi-Mbeya route, but matters came to head one day when we lost a very valuable consignment of gold bars from the Saza Gold Mine. The police were getting nowhere with their investigations into that theft, or any of the previous ones, and, in desperation, the DTS (Quentin More at the time) told me to, "get out on that b ...... road and don't bother coming back until those thefts are stopped!" And I did - I was out there for about a couple of months without ever seeing Dodoma or Iringa.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Albion CD 23N
Basically I discovered how the doors of our sealed and locked vans could be removed without disturbing the seals, and that a mysterious lorry came down from Tabora from time to time and met up, in the middle of the night, with certain of our drivers at Rungwa. With a couple of plain clothes askaris from the Mbeya police, and after setting up the suspect drivers to drive that night, I arranged an ambush at Rungwa to catch them all in the act. Whilst we were laying waiting in the bush by the roadside a herd of elephants disturbed us and the ambush had to be abandoned. We didn't catch anyone, but we must have given them all such a fright that the thefts fell dramatically afterwards.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
A day or two later I was spending the night in the dak bungalow at Itigi only to be told by the goods clerk in the morning that a railway wagon, waiting to be unloaded, had been broken into overnight and a lot of valuable goods stolen. This infuriated me to think such a thing could happen whilst I was right on the spot, so I immediately drove to Manyoni and got search warrants from the DC there, and the help of his Asian police inspector, to search every duka in Itigi. We found nothing, except one duka which was still closed. We were told the owner had gone off to Singida on a Arab owned bus with 'mingi'luggage. So we went off to Singida and searched the town for an Arab owned bus. We found it late at night parked outside a suspicious looking Asian house. As my search warrants were not valid in Singida I called on the local European police superintendent for help and he arranged a raid on the house at about midnight. Not only did we find all the stolen goods, but also the Asian station master from Itigi! He was supposed to be offwork sick, which was why I hadn't seen him the previous day. Anyway, it seemed to be an open and shut case and the superintendent told me I would be required in court as a vital witness in due course. From then on we had little further trouble with thefts.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
As my overseas leave came closer and closer, and as the case never seemed to come to court, I was getting worried - the Singida police superintendent always had some valid excuse whenever I enquired. Eventually our Nairobi HQ took it up with police HQ in Dar-esSalaam. The outcome was the Singida police superintendent was convicted of taking bribes to keep the case out of court."

Traffic accidents were a regular occurrence. A copy of a report made by Doug Golding on a fatal accident can be found below along with the subsequent Coroner's Report.

Convoy Supervisors
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Albion Trucks
In the very early days of the Road Services vehicles used to run in convoys with a Convoy Supervisor travelling in the last vehicle. He carried a few spares, such as fan belts, water hoses etc., and a tool box. This system was soon abandoned as uneconomical in vehicle time. After being loaded trucks had to wait around until all the others were loaded and ready to go: then they went off together, all arrived at the same time and, again, had to hang around waiting their turn to be offloaded. This system was gradually abandoned and the Convoy Supervisors provided with Land Rovers in which they patrolled the roads to assist vehicles in trouble. That too was eventually abandoned as an expensive luxury which could be dispensed with.
Passenger And Goods Traffic
Despite the road conditions the Road Services moved reasonable tonnages, and in later years the revenue earned more than covered the working expenses:

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road

However, not all traffic earned revenue, as Stan Pritchard discovered on the Mbeya - Itigi Road:

"Gradually I gathered together many snippets of information. Most of it general background information, ... Some information, such as at what time, and at what point, particular lorries were seen bore no resemblance to the information shown in their log books.

Whenever I caught up with one of our lorries in daylight I would sit closely on its tail and observe it, unnoticed, for several minutes before dropping behind and letting myself disappear in its cloud of dust. My one exception to this routine was when I came up behind lorries carrying passengers. This was a lucrative business for some of our drivers who charged each passenger considerably less than the normal bus fare. It was not uncommon to find twenty or more passengers perched precariously, high above the cab, on top of the tarpaulin covering the load on a fully laden lorry, and often clutching small children as well as hens and, in some cases, even goats. This was exceedingly dangerous, and especially so if the driver had lingered in one of the huts with an illicit still and thought he could get back onto schedule by speeding and throwing the lorry round corners with gay abandon. This just had to be stopped and I went to town on it in a big way. I stopped every lorry 1 saw and cleared it of all the illegal passengers and, with the occasional drunk sometimes threatening violence, often putting myself in danger but, almost always, making myself unpopular with both the driver and passengers alike. But it has to be done. The drivers were always disciplined. If I had evidence of them being involved in thefts they were dismissed from the service. If merely carrying illegal passengers they were relegated to smaller vehicles on shorter runs and, consequently, a loss in wages.

The practice began to decline and rarely did I see a lorry carrying passengers until, one day following closely behind a lorry in daylight, I thought my eyes were playing tricks. The tarpaulin cover was moving in an odd way. It would slowly rise and develop a small bump, then move to another place, so I stopped the lorry and had the tarpaulin removed. Underneath, blinking and rubbing their eyes in the sudden bright sunshine, were half a dozen Africans. It may not have been as dangerous as riding on top of the load, but the heat and stench in the airless condition must have been most uncomfortable and unhealthy. But what concerned me more was the marvellous opportunity it gave for pilfering, at leisure and unobserved, from the merchandise being carried. Whenever I came upon future similar situations I simply danced a sort of Irish jig along the top of the tarpaulin, and listened for squeals. I think I can claim to have, literally, stamped out this practice. Not surprisingly bus passengers and earnings began to increase and it amused me to see the explanations for this phenomenon put forward by the knowledgeable statisticians in Nairobi headquarters who study these things."

Road Service Licencing
In 1957 the Tanganyika Government introduced road service licensing managed by a statutory Transport Licensing Authority and all EAR&H passenger and goods services had to obtain a licence in the same way as any other operator. The Authority was particularly interested in the financial standing and vehicle fitness aspects of applicants. By 1959 the General Manager was able to report that "the control over passenger service schedules exercised by the Transport Licensing Authority in Tanganyika continued to be effective in rationalising road passenger transport services over routes operated by EAR&H."7
Route Changes
In January 1961 a major review on the future of the Road Services was undertaken. In recent years the services had experienced severe competition and the revenue had generally fallen short of operating costs including renewals. Account also had to be taken of the Ruvu/Mnyusi rail connection being built to link the Central and Tanga lines. The conclusions reached were that the Dodoma - Kongwa - Gulwe service should close at once, the Itigi - Singida passenger service should close at the end of the year and that once the new Ruvu/Mnyusi link became operational the Morogoro - Korogwe and Dodoma - Arusha - Nairobi routes should close.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Morogoro to Iringa Road
The service between Itigi and Singida (75 miles) that had operated since 1948 was withdrawn at the end of 1961.

With the demise of the East African Groundnut Scheme and the closing of the Kongwa branch line in March 1956 a new road service was introduced between Dodoma, Kongwa, Mpwapwa and Gulwe, a distance of 89 miles. By 1961, however, traffic on this route had diminished to an uneconomic level, and services were withdrawn.

On 1st April 1957 the Morogoro to Iringa road was opened to heavy goods vehicles. This was part of the process of introducing Road Transport Licencing. The result was the rerouting of traffic away from the Dodoma railhead and improved transit times between Dar-es-Salaam and the Southern Highlands.

In September 1962 the Kilombero Sugar factory opened at Kidatu and the Road Services carried the factory's products until the opening of the railway branch line from Mikumi to Kidatu on 1 st June 1965.

The Strike
In 1960 the Tanganyika Railway African Union called it members out on strike, over a pay dispute, for 82 days from Tuesday 9th February until Saturday 30th April. The Road Services were severely disrupted and only kept going because the European, Asian and some of the African staff drove the vehicles. Some services were withdrawn, such as the Mombo to Lushoto bus service. During the school holidays the only services to operate were the buses to get children to/from the various boarding schools in Tanganyika. I remember on one occasion my father driving a goods vehicle, in convoy, with Bob Cluett to Morogoro. They decided to take a rest and as my father pulled over to the side of the road the surface collapsed and his vehicle became stuck. He was not popular! In Iringa, the Railway wives kept the Iringa Hotel running. It was a case of all hands to the pumps. The strike eventually collapsed.
The End
On 9th December 1961 Tanganyika became independent and on 9th December 1962 became a Republic within the Commonwealth. On 26th April 1964 it merged with Zanzibar to form Tanzania.

With the creation of the East African Community in 1969, EAR&H was split into two Corporations8, the East African Railways Corporation and the East African Harbours Corporation. The Railways HQ was established in Nairobi and the Harbours in Dar-esSalaam. However, the East African Community collapsed in 1977 and the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) came into being on 21 st October 1977, taking over full responsibility for the services previously provided in Tanzania by the East African Railways Corporation (EARC). These services included railways, road services, marine services, hotels and catering.

Since the early 1990s the TRC has undergone a restructuring process involving a gradual divesture of its non-core services. Consequently, the Road Services has been closed, hotels and catering services have been franchised to third parties and a separate 'Marine Services Company Limited' now provides marine services on Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika. The TRC now only operates railway passenger and freight services.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Iringa Yard
Christine, my daughter Julie and I visited Tanzania from the 3rd to the 18th September 2002. This was Christine's and my second trip in 3 years but Julie's first. Initially, we spent 3 days in Dar-es-Salaam, staying at the Sea Cliff Hotel on the Msasani peninsular. The Sea Cliff was opened in 1998 and is an excellent modern 5 star hotel headed by a British General Manager and a team of South African and British Departmental Managers. Although the city centre is much as it always was there is a lot of new building and development taking place on the periphery. There is now a Holiday Inn on Ohio Street, a brand new mini shopping mall at the Msasani peninsular slipway, several South African supermarkets and two branches of Barclays Bank complete with ATMs. The Royal Palm (formerly the Sheraton) is now the top city centre hotel with the New Africa in second place. The Kilimanjaro Hotel and Agip Motel have closed and the Oyster Bay Hotel looks more like a scruffy building site. The General Post Office has an intemet cafe - something UK Post Office Counters should consider.

I visited Dar-es-Salaam station in the hope that I could photograph the restored steam loco 2927. Unfortunately, neither the Station Master nor his Assistant could be found and as I didn't want to be arrested for trespassing I came away empty handed. The station buildings looked fairly clean and well maintained but both the passenger and freight rolling stock were dilapidated, especially the freight wagons which seemed to have more rust than paint on them.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Former EAR&H Iringa HQ
We travelled up to Iringa on the Scandinavia Express bus service. Scandinavia operates out of the former DMT depot in Dar-es-Salaam and covers much of the former EAR&H Road Services network. Buses run to a strict timetable, there is no stopping to pick up passengers on the side of the road, seats have to be booked and tickets paid for in advance, no standing passengers, all baggage has to go into locked baggage lockers, each bus has 2 conductors, videos are shown and free soft drinks, biscuits and sweets are handed out. The current single fare from Dar-es-Salaam to Iringa is Tshs 7,500 (approx £5). Scandinavia also runs services from Dar-es-Salaam to Nairobi and Kampala using air-conditioned coaches and provides an at-seat stewardess service. The road to Iringa is in good condition apart from about 30 miles of diversions for road works between Morogoro and Dar-es-Salaam.

We stayed with Elizabeth and David Phillips at Kibebe Farm, 3 miles from Ipogoro Village on the Dabaga Road. The Phillips settled in Iringa in the 1950s and are one of the few families left from those days. They are dairy farmers with a herd of some 200 cattle and employ 95 workers. Until recently they supplied milk and dairy products to shops in Iringa and hotels in Dar-es-Salaam but now just supply the local Iringa dairy - Azids. Their son Richard runs an excellent campsite and picnic area on the banks of the Little Ruaha River and has recently won the contract to maintain the Iringa Commonwealth War Graves Cemeterythe Town Council are in the process of privatising the majority of their functions.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
European Staff house
Iringa has not changed very much since we were there 3 years ago. As I mentioned in my last notes (Newsletter No 20 January 2000) the Iringa Club is still there but the tennis courts are overgrown and a Banking Academy has been built on the golf course. The former EAR&H Road Services HQ is now occupied by several companies - including Cresco Ltd (Oil Contractors), Tanganyika Arms Ltd and RETCO - and the Goods Shed and Yard by General Tyres. There is actually an armed guard on the Goods Shed! I was arrested by the guard for taking photographs but managed to talk my way out of it. The workshops area is occupied by RETCO who also bought the former EAR&H European Staff houses. Some of the houses have been renovated and look in very good condition whilst others are in need of loving care and attention. Marion Gough (who visited Iringa in October 2002) tells me that she was able to go inside their old house and that it is in good condition. The Snowden house now has a beautiful garden with immaculate green lawns and well-stocked flowerbeds.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Iringa Goods Yard, 1963
Remnants of the Road Services can still be seen around Iringa. Two 2000 gallon bowser tanks (presumably empty) are laying on the side of the road near TANESCO, parts of vehicle cabs can be seen in the goods yard as well as outside the fence and there are 5 goods vehicles in Bala Singh's garage at Ipogoro. I spoke to Mr Singh who said that until recently all 5 vehicles were running, including a 1947 Albion truck.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Former EAR&H Bus Station
The general impression of Iringa is that it is clean and tidy although slightly run down because of a lack of money. Most roads are free of potholes, buildings are being maintained and the Police Station has recently been re-painted - from white to brown. The former EAR&H Iringa Hotel is now part of the Banking Academy. The White Horse Inn is now called the Iringa Hotel but sadly looks very scruffy and lacks customers. The MR Hotel, opposite the Post Office, is probably the best hotel - Marion Gough stayed there and said it was basic but OK. Lulu's, next to the Iringa Bakery, is good for eating out. There are 2 Internet cafes offering access to the world-wide web and e-mail facilities. The Iringa Stores is still there but the shelves look empty - most Europeans now do their food shopping in the dukas in Jamat Street. There appears to be no shortages, even imported chocolate is now readily available in the shops.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Former EAR&H Iringa Hotel
I borrowed a vehicle from Richard Phillips so that we could look around the Iringa area and one afternoon we drove out to the Iringa Airfield at Nduli. The road is in a terrible state, only accessible to either 4x4 or heavy truckslbuses. Apparently the road is like this all the way to Dodoma and a bus journey now takes about 12 hours. In the days of East African Airways 3 planes a week served Iringa but nowadays there is only the odd charter or government flight. The airfield and buildings looked as they were 40 years ago. In the 1950s and 60s Nduli was very much in the bush with elephant and other game in the vicinity but to day it is surrounded by villages and huts.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Iringa Goods Yard and Shed
We also visited the Mufindi Tea Estates and Mikumi National Park. We hired a vehicle, with driver, at a cost of US$180 each way to get to Mufindi from Iringa. 'At Mufindi we stayed at Mufindi Highland Lodge, run by GeoffFox and his family. The all-inclusive price of US $65 per person per night includes accommodation, 3 meals a day, horse riding, bird watching flyfishing, hill walking and from next year golf. Excellent value and highly recommended. Geoff Fox and his family also own Fox's Safari Tented Camp at Mikumi. The Scandinavia Express bus will drop passengers off at the junction of the campsite track and the main road - a camp vehicle then collects you from there. The camp is well run and of an extremely high standard. The food is excellent and the 8 tents luxurious - each has an en-suite flushing toilet, hot shower and washbasin. The price is US $225 per person full board including 2 game drives a day.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
EAR&H Trucks
We spent one night at Mikumi and then continued to Dar-es-Salaam on the Scandinavia Express bus. We stayed at the Sea Cliff Hotel again for 2 nights and then caught the BA nonstop daytime flight back to Heathrow.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Fonner EAR&H House
We are planning to return to Tanzania again in the not too distant future. One of the first things that strikes any visitor is how happy, friendly, polite and helpful the people are. Of course there are problems, especially poverty and unemployment, but you don't have the feeling (as in Kenya) that you are liable to be robbed any minute. In particular, no one is starving because, thanks to Julius Nyerere, most people have their own shamba. The Tanzania Government is currently undertaking a mammoth privatisation programme with the result that investment is beginning to flow in. In particular, the South Africans are investing heavily and there are approx 17,000 South Africans in the country.

The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Appendix 2: Coroner's Report: INQUEST NO.42 OF 1959 - DECEASED: ISSA ABDALLIJI.
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Appendix 3: Extracts from "A Guide to Tanganyika" - Fourth Edition 1959

By Car

The roads of Tanganyika do not, of course, compare with the highways of Europe and America, but travelling on their surfaces for most of the year is safe and pleasant in a roomy well-sprung car.

To ensure trouble-free touring on long journeys a little organisation beforehand is well worth while, and travellers, especially in wet weather, are advised to seek information from the nearest District Office or Public Works Department officer regarding the state of the roads and the places where petrol may be bought before they set out. Road maps are available from the Surveys Division or the East Africa Tourist Travel Association Office, Dar-es-Salaam and the branch office of the Royal East African Automobile Association at Dar-es-Salaam. Apart from roads in townships there are 18,770 miles of roads in the Territory classified as follows:-

(a) Territorial Main Roads, (3,517 miles), which are through trunk routes and which are in nearly every case up to an all-weather standard with permanent bridges.

(b) Local Main Roads, ( 4,319 Miles), which are main feeder roads of local importance, generally of a slightly lower standard to (a).

(c) District Roads, (10,934 miles), which are earth roads with bush type structures, usually passable in dry weather.

Both categories (a) and (b) are maintained by the Public Works Department while category (c) are generally maintained by the Provincial Administration. In addition there are nearly 9,000 miles of village roads and tracks of which 6,000 miles are passable to light traffic except during the rains. The following are some of the main routes the traveller may use during his visit:

1. The Great North Road (Kenya Border - Arusha - Kondoa - Dodoma - Iringa - Mbeya - Rhodesia Border, 804 miles)

This is the Tanganyika portion of the highway from Uganda, through Kenya, Tanganyika and the Rhodesias to Cape Town.

It crosses the Kenya-Tanganyika border about 120 miles from Nairobi and proceeds almost due south to Arusha, first through open, undulating country and then through European owned farms crossing the western foot-hills of Mount Meru. Arusha (70 miles) is the centre of important farming activities and possesses banks and hotels. It is the best place from which to visit the famous Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti Plains.

The road leaves Arusha township in a direction due west for the first nine miles, thereafter bending southwards in a great curve to the west, until it passes the eastern shores of Lake Manyara, 65 miles from Arusha. Thence the road follows a line due south through Babati and on to Pienaar's Heights, the whole route being beaconed on each side with magnificent isolated peaks. Over many miles game of every description may be seen, and owing to the restrictions on shooting, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle and lion sometimes are to be met with on the road itself. South of Babati, 116 miles from Arusha, much native cultivation is passed, and from here on to Bereku the country is reminiscent of England, the road taking a winding course up the hills through magnificent trees between whose branches impressive panoramas are seen of the Babati area, Hanang Mountain and the Great Rift wall to the north, while to the south and east stretch to the horizon the plains of the Central Province and the Masai steppe.

The road still bears south, and Kondoa is reached at mile 170 from Arusha. From here it proceeds through the Gogo country to Dodoma on the Central Railway, 272 miles from Arusha. Dodoma is an important centre of the Territory's communications. It has a first class hotel and an aerodrome, approximately a mile from the town.

Leaving Dodoma in a southerly direction, the road gradually rises to a point 12 miles distant, and then descends until a small escarpment is reached at mile 44, at an altitude of approximately 3,000 feet. An easy descent of this escarpment is made to the Fufu flats, 300 feet below, which continue to mile 82, when a further small escarpment is reached, which one descends to the Ruaha river and bridge, at mile 87, and at an altitude of 2,500 feet. From Dodoma to the Ruaha the country is sparsely populated by the Gogo tribe, who graze their cattle in the vicinity of the road. For 30 miles beyond the Ruaha the road runs through the Magoli flats until the main Iringa escarpment is reached at mile 116. The well-graded ascent of this escarpment, which rises 2,000 feet in its length of 9 miles, is easy, but sharp bends necessitate care and circumspection. From the top of the main escarpment the road runs more or less level to mile 155, where a further easy climb is made, and thence the land gradually rises to Iringa town, at an attitude of 5,200 feet, 162 miles from Dodoma. Iringa is the centre of a large European settlement and possesses a cool and pleasant climate. It has two hotels and a bank. Its aerodrome is situated at Nduli nearby, from where there is a thrice weekly service to Dar-es-Salaam and once weekly to both Mbeya and Tabora/Mwanza.

From Iringa the road proceeds in a south-westerly direction to the Rhodesian border. To the Mbarali river, mile 157, the country is undulating and the altitude varies between 4,000 and 6,400 feet. At Sao Hill (mile 61) is a hotel in most attractive open country, in parts rather like the Scottish moors, where fires are necessary on most nights of the year. From the Mbarali the road follows along foot-hills at easy grades to the Luana river, mile 200, at which point it begins to climb steadily, and thence drops towards Mbeya, which is reached at mile 236.

Mbeya, Provincial Headquarters of the Southern Highlands Province adjacent to the Lupa Goldfields, is a flourishing town in pleasant surroundings. There are two banks, two hotels, a rest house, wireless station and cinema, also two large Government boarding schools for European education and African teacher training.

The main road to the Rhodesias leaves Mbeya in a westerly direction passing the new Panda Hill Mine and over another escarpment to cross the border at Tunduma, 84 miles from Mbeya.

The Towns of the Territory


Arusha, beautifully situated on the lower slopes of Mount Meru - one of the highest mountains in Africa - is the capital of the Northern Province.

It is the centre of social and business life for a widespread community of European farmers and planters, and its cool moderate climate makes it a healthy and invigorating place in which to live.

Mountaineering> For keen mountaineers, Mount Meru (14,979 feet) offers a most interesting climb. It can be tackled either in easy stages in a three-day climb, or the ascent can be made in a day, starting from an advanced point reached by car.

Fishing Good rainbow trout fishing can be had in two streams flowing out of Mount Meru; the Temi, which is only a 100 yards away from the New Arusha Hotel, and Nduruma, six miles away by road. A trout fishing licence must be obtained from the Arusha Trout Fishers Association. (PO Box 329, Tel. Arusha 103).

Games Clubs Rugby and Association football, hockey and cricket are played at Arusha, and the modern Gymkhana Club has an excellent 9-hole golf course. The Gymkhana Club has also a library, card room and billiards room.

Rifle Range The facilities of the Northern Province Rifle Association can be enjoyed at a Rifle Range just outside the town.

The Shops Arusha is the main shopping centre for the Northern Province, and has modern shops in the north of the town and a thriving, colourful bazaar for Africans and Asians.

Cinemas There are two modern and well-equipped cinemas showing up-to-date films with programme changes twice a week.

Theatres Arusha has an active Little Theatre maintained by the Arusha Arts Society, which seats 120 people.

Hotels There are four, centrally situated hotels of which the New Arusha is the largest with spacious bedrooms with bathrooms attached, plus tennis court and swimming pool. A dance is held on the first Saturday of each month. Other hotels are the Continental, the Safari House, and the Meru.

Banks The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and Barclays Bank D.C.O. have branches in Arusha.


Dodoma is the capital of the Central Province, and an important town on the Central Railway, lying at the inter-section of the railway and the Great North Road from Kenya to Rhodesia.

The climate is dry, with very little rain. The town is in the centre of the large cattle producing area, inhabited by the Wagogo tribe. Its main exports are consequently livestock for slaughter and hides and skins.

There is a small European club with a golf course, tennis courts, etc., and an excellent hotel owned· and managed by East African Railways and Harbours.

The town has two recently built cinemas, modern shops, and a bank.

There are two cathedrals, one Anglican and one Catholic. The largest mental hospital in the territory is situated in Dodoma which is also the headquarters of the Geological Survey Department. There is a fine geological museum in which samples of all the rock formations in the territory can be seen. To assist in the search for radio-active minerals, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has established a research centre there.


Situated at the top of a high escarpment, Iringa is the main town in the district of Iringa. It has a pleasant, cool climate, and is the centre of a large European settlement.

The town was founded by the Germans, and some of the old German buildings are particularly attractive with their unusual tiled roofs. Today there are some fine modern houses and shops and in addition two hotels, a cinema and a branch bank. St. Michael's & st. George's, a magnificent secondary boarding school on the outskirts of the town, was opened in January 1959.

The principal crop grown by the settlers is tobacco, but vegetables, fruit, dairy produce, meat, pyrethrum, wheat, poultry and eggs are also produced. There are extensive tea estates in the highlands at Mufindi, including a factory in which tea is processed.

An airfield is situated at nearby Nduli, and the East African Airways plane makes a twice weekly stop.

KILOSA Kilosa is the administrative capital of the district of Kilosa in the Eastern Province, and is situated on the slopes of pleasant hills overlooking the valley of the River Mkondoa. Wild game of every description may be seen on the plain bordering the railway line.

Kilosa is the centre of a large cotton growing and sisal area, and has two hotels and several modern shops. There is also a hotel at Kimamba, 15 miles away.


Korogwe is an important communications centre on the Tanga Railway line and IS the terminus of the road link between that line and the Central line at Morogoro.

The climate is oppressive during the hot season, but pleasantly cool from May to October.

The town is the centre of a large sisal producing area, and tea and timber are exported through the town from the U sambara Mountains. There are a few modern buildings, a hotel, a cinema and a recently built hospital.


Originally built by the Germans as a hill station, Lushoto is now an administrative station in the. Usambara Mountains. It lies at the head of a sheltered valley in magnificent mountain surroundings. The hillsides are covered with forest, plantations of eucalyptus, cedar and wattle. The countryside is always green as there is plenty of rain and mist. English flowers grow in profusion.

The climate is delightful all the year round, but there are sometimes rain mists for days at a time.

The town has a small hospital, some shops, a police barracks, European and Asian houses.

Just outside the town are a European boarding school, and a hotel with a golf course and other amenities. Farther up the mountain road at about 5,500 feet is another hotel set in beautiful surroundings where fishing, golf and tennis are available. The altitude and the rainfall make the mountains unique in Tanganyika, and they contain some of the most beautiful scenery in East Africa. The Governor has a lodge in the hills between Lushoto and Magamba.


Mbeya, a small attractive town in a mountainous setting, is the headquarters of the Southern Highlands Province. The climate is delightful, seldom being hot and uncomfortable, with invariably cool nights.

The chief activity is commercial and there are several garages for servicing motor vehicles, farm equipment, etc. There is a modern branch bank building, two hotels, and a number of shops and houses.

Outside the town is the Government European Primary Boarding School to which children from all over the territory are sent.


Thirty miles from Korogwe, on the main road, one reaches Mombo, from which a good allweather road climbs through fine mountain scenery to Lushoto (21 miles from Mombo), the centre of the Usambara Highlands, with heights varying from 4,500 to 6,000 ft. This area is a popular health resort for visitors and residents from all over East Africa, among its many attractions being delightful scenery, an invigorating climate, good trout fishing, golf and tennis.


Morogoro is most beautifully situated at the foot ofthe impressive blue Uluguru mountains.

It is the administrative and commercial centre of the Morogoro District and has recently become the Provincial headquarters of the Eastern Province.

Morogoro is the centre of one of the larger sisal and cotton growing areas of the territory, and a large quantity of mica is mined in the district.

The climate is cool and pleasant. There are two hotels in the town, a cinema and two banks and some modern houses and shops.


The district is the home of the Chagga people totalling 310,000, who are renowned for their co-operative movement and as producers of some 6,000 tons of coffee annually. The inhabited part of the district is at altitudes varying between the low-lands of 2,600 feet and the mountain forest boundary of 6,000 feet.

The railway station is a junction of lines connecting Mombasa, Nairobi, Tanga and Arusha. The town has five hotels, three cinemas and five clubs, also good public playing fields where the country's athletic meetings and the annual Northern Province Trade and Agricultural Show are held. Moshi is an educational centre with the Territorial Police Training School, two secondary schools, a trade school and a commercial college, and several primary and nursery schools. These cater for over 3,000 students.

Two hospitals, a nursing home and private practitioners provide for the physical welfare of the inhabitants, and seven places of worship for their spiritual needs.

Twenty-five miles from the town on all weather roads are two modern holiday hotels at an altitude of 4,500 feet where thousands of visitors from all over the world go to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery and walks, and from where expeditions are organised for climbing the mountain (three days up and two down). The tourist who can spare the time for a closer exploration of the mountain is advised to get in touch with the Honorary Secretary of the East African Mountain Club, whose address is P.O. Box 66, Moshi. Trout fishing is also available.

Moshi is particularly favourably situated for the location of secondary industries. It is served by two ports (Kilindini and Tanga), well supplied with hydroelectric power and plentiful water of a high degree of purity. A potentially large residential labour supply awaits work, and the trade school and College of Commerce are turning out commercially qualified young men and women who are available for employment. Numbers of factory site plots in the industrial area, served by railway sidings, are available.

Moshi is a junction in the main road system of East Africa to which it is linked by all-weather roads, and there is a first class airport within the Township boundary.

The district is unique in the fact that it can supply material for the closest study ("from the seed to the cup") of the famous Kilimanjaro coffee industry. The Coffee Research Station (14 miles from town) is one of the finest in the world. All aspects of the industry are readily available including seed selection, nursery production, cultivation and processing activities. At the Coffee Curing Works in the town some £5,000,000 worth of coffee is handled each season. The Moshi Coffee Auctions are attended by buyers representing the world of coffee, and Kilimanjaro Coffee at its best can be had at the various hotels and restaurants in the town.

Mention must be made of the Chagga Local Government whose headquarters (three miles from town) and Council Chamber are of the most modern design, and which, under the leadership of Chief Marealle II, is one of the most progressive African local governments East Africa, playing a most important part in the development of both urban and rural areas.

Appendix 4: EAR&H Road Services European & Senior Staff
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
Appendix 5: Road Services Staff List 1962
The History of the EAR&H Tanganyika Road
EAR&H Crest
EAR&H Crest
Tanganyika Map 1948
Tanganyika Map
EAR&H Road Services Route Map
Colony Profile
1. PRO Kew Tanganyika Registers 1944 - Index Ref No 42029/31.

2. PRO Kew Tanganyika Registers 1944 - Index Ref No 42029/42 & Crown Agents letter MIN 12374 dated 30 May 1944.

3. EAR&H Annual Report 1950

4. Dak (fonnerly in India) - a system of mail delivery or passenger transport by relays of bearers or horses stationed at intervals along a route.

5. Dak Bungalow - a house where travellers on a dak route could be accommodated.

6. Ken Menzies (1879-1955), one of the pioneers who fought in the First World War in Tanganyika. Worked gold in the Lupa and at 19awa, built and managed the Mbeya Hotel.

7. EAR&H Annual Report 1959 page 13

8. On 1 June 1969

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East African Railways & Harbours Staff Magazines And Spear
From June 1952 to December 1969



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