1. FOUR LOCOMOTIVES PROCURED RECENTLY AT UGX 42BILLION: URC through funding from the Government of…
Government of Uganda under the National Development Plan III has prioritized among others the rehabilitation of the Meter Gauge Railway to enable bulk transportation of goods and reduce high cost of transport by road, traffic congestion and other associated costs. Already, emergency rehabilitation works on the Tororo – Mukono that we launched in 2022 have been completed and the line handed over to Government. The improvements on this section has enhanced the capacity of URC to move cargo.
Works on the Kampala – Mukono section (26.8km) of the Meter Gauge line commenced in April this year. On this section of Kampala – Mukono, we are using new technology of concrete sleepers, a shift from the steel sleepers. We chose concrete because it is more stable, cannot be vandalized, and improved the capacity of the line to carry more load, and at increased speeds. When works are completed, passengers will be able to move on rail from Kampala to Mukono, as we plan to extend the passenger service further on the Northern corridor.
Therefore, the Government of Uganda through Uganda Railways Corporation has engaged M/s China Road and Bridge Corporation to undertake the rehabilitation works for the Tororo – Gulu section. The 375km railway line traverses through Mbale, Kumi, Soroti, Lira before terminating at the Gulu Logistics Hub. The Hub is designed to facilitate transportation, collection, separation, consolidation and distribution of goods for national and international transit on a commercial basis.
The rehabilitation works for the Tororo – Gulu line will take a period of 2 years and are fully funded by the Government of Uganda at UShs. 199.9 Billion as part of the efforts to increase the stock and quality of strategic infrastructure to accelerate Uganda’s competitiveness and creating the integrated transport infrastructure and services in the country. The works to be done shall include; Drainage Improvement (including Construction of new culverts and Lining of side drains),
Earthworks, Relocation of Utilities, Rehabilitation of 5 steel girder bridges, Railway Track Relaying Works (including ballasting), Supply of new railway track materials, Refurbishment of existing railway track materials, Construction of level crossings including signage (concrete and gravel). With these improvements, we anticipate to transport a minimum of 500,000 Metric Tons of cargo during FY 2025/26 alone and this will be a great relief to our roads. The works will also reduce the cost of transportation of cargo from Malaba to Gulu and surrounding districts.
Government has resolved to rehabilitate and improve the performance of MGR towards boosting the country’s trade and easing movement of cargo, our regional focus to construct Standard Gauge Railway still stands as this will further improve our efficiency. To further this cause, on Saturday, 29 July 2023, together with my Kenyan counterpart, Hon. Kipchumba Murkomen the Cabinet Secretary of Roads and Transport, we signed a communique affirming the commitment of the two countries to construct the SGR in a coordinated manner; Naivasha-Kisumu-Malaba by Kenya and simultaneously Uganda constructing the Malaba – Kampala section and beyond.