3 November 2018

Uganda Focuses On Old Railway

After turning to marine transport and the revamping of the old metre-gauge rail network as options that will ease pressure from the country's road infrastructure in the medium term, Uganda is coming to terms with the reality that its standard gauge railway project remains a long way from taking shape.

Officials maintain that Kampala is still committed to building the SGR, but pending "issues to resolve" about the project's financing and its link to that of Kenya mean the Northern Corridor SGR plans are in tatters, for now.

Focus has shifted from the SGR as the government has started working on options.

According to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, the government will this financial year undertake to rehabilitate 42 railway wagons as well as repair bad spots along the Port-Bell-Kampala route that links with the central corridor.

And for the first time in 10 years, Uganda Railways Corporation landed a 900-tonne capacity cargo ship at Port bell in Kampala from Mwanza in June this year, giving the sense that Kampala is serious about revamping the Central Corridor route, abandoned in 2006 and which, depending on cargo availability, operates 26 voyages per month.

Again, this month, Kampala also looked to be planning further away from the envisaged Northern Corridor SGR network when it announced that with the European Union, it would jointly finance the revamping of its old-metre gauge railway leg from the eastern Uganda town of Tororo to Gulu in the north.

However, the downside for Kampala is that the tonnage that the metre gauge carries is way below that by the SGR when it comes to cargo.

Under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects, partner states of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan committed to building a synchronised seamless railway transport system.


Teacher Schools With Fewer Than 100 Students Ordered to Close

All Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) with an enrollment of less than 100 students will not be allowed to operate,… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The East African. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.