Eswatini Daily News
Africa e-Learning Events Features Finance INTERNATIONAL Lifestyle National Politics Transport

Uganda to reopen century-old rail link after China fails to fund new line

By Elias Biryabarema

KAMPALA – Uganda has begun restoring a branch of a century-old, British-built railway line that is expected to cut the cost of shipping goods to the country’s north, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a railway spokesperson said.

The line, which has been out of use for roughly 40 years, is part of the East Africa rail network that stretches from Kenya’s Indian Ocean seaport of Mombasa. It was built by Kenya and Uganda’s former colonial ruler Britain around the beginning of the 20th century.

ALSO READ: Uganda passes harsh anti-LGBTQ law including the death penalty

“Our ambition is to move all long-distance bulk cargo transportation onto rail from roads in a few years because rail is cheaper in terms of cost and time,” John Linnon Sengendo, spokesman for state-run Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) told Reuters.

Uganda decided to revamp the old network after plans to build a separate modern standard gauge railway (SGR) failed to secure financing from China.

Early this year Uganda terminated a contract with China Harbour and Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) to build the $2.2 billion SGR and is seeking a new contractor. 

Please wait while flipbook is loading. For more related info, FAQs and issues please refer to DearFlip WordPress Flipbook Plugin Help documentation.

Meanwhile, Sengendo said China Road and Bridge Corporation(CRBC) would restore the old line over the course of two years at a cost of 200 billion shillings ($55.48 million) provided by the Ugandan government.

The 382 km section of the line to be repaired connects Tororo town in Uganda’s east near the border with Kenya and terminates at a logistics hub in Gulu in Uganda’s north near the border with South Sudan.

The European Union funded the construction of the Gulu hub, completed in late 2021, as part of the effort to revamp Uganda’s railway network, which fell into disrepair during the country’s economic collapse in the 1970s and early 80s.

ALSO READ: Uganda says 2023/24 GDP growth to reach 6%

Ugandan officials hope once the link is restored, rail will replace trucks in shipping transit goods to South Sudan and the Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last week, Kenya’s and Uganda’s transport ministers said they would accelerate another project to build a standard gauge railway to link Naivasha in Kenya and Uganda’s capital Kampala. (Reuters)

Related posts

MTN Mobile Money introduces another step of convenience

Trio charged with attempted murder


Peter Obi takes lead in Lagos as results start to trickle in


Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Siyabonga Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy