UGANDA’S PARLIAMENT APPROVES LOAN TO UPGRADE NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY FROM KAMPALA TO THE BORDER WITH KENYA
(Posted 16th May 2021)
With the finances now secured for the rehabilitation and modernization of the Uganda railway section between Kampala and the Kenyan border, is work now expected to go underway soon.
Following the failure to secure financing from China to construct a standard gauge railway line from the border to Kampala – even in Kenya is planning progress from the current railwayhead in Naivasha to Kisumu and the Ugandan border at a standstill right now – has the Ugandan government fallen back to ‘Plan B‘ which is the upgrading of the existing narrow gauge line, built at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
It is understood that Kenya too is investing in the upgrading of their section of the narrow gauge railways between Naivasha and the Ugandan border in Busia.
The funding, part of which is to come from the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund, will be used to completely overhaul the railway line, defuse derailment hotspots, strengthen culverts and bridges and, when completed, raise monthly cargo capacity from the current 20.000 metric tons to over 100.000 metric tons by the year 2025.
This level of progress was supposed to have been reached by mid to late 2020 but the unfolding pandemic put a stop to this and many other infrastructure projects, like the new Lake Victoria port and the dual carriage highway between Kampala and Jinja.
Funding for the new highway is also still under negotiation and no confirmation is presently available about the potential construction start or the anticipated completion of the project.