According to the contractor, Chinese Railway and Bridge Cooperation (CRBC), 95% of the construction on the $301 million Kampala-Malaba metre gauge railway line has been completed.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) provided funds for the line’s phased restoration, which got underway in February and is scheduled to be finished next month. Engineering design for the Kampala multimodal hub and the 28-kilometer-long Kampala-Namanve and Tororo-Malaba sections were part of the first phase.
The second phase included the Environmental Study and Impact Assessment (ESIA), the acquisition of workshop equipment and rolling stock, including as wagons and locomotives, as well as the renovation of 245km of sections, including Namanve-Tororo, Port Bell line, Jinja Pier line, and Kampala-Kyengera.
The railway, which connects Kampala to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya as part of the Northern Corridor of the East African Community, is anticipated to improve train services and reduce transportation costs.
“We are at 95% rehabilitation after more than 200 kilometers. Rails, slippers, and compacted stones have all been installed,” said CRBC engineer Qin Jian.
“We shall be able to hand over the project in February as planned because the remaining five percent (28km) is too small. We want to complete the rehabilitation work on time so that the trains can keep moving,” Mr. Qin added.
According to John Sengendo, senior public relations and communication officer for Uganda Railways Corporation, they would hire permanent inspectors and install sensors to find damaged rail points in order to reduce vandalism at the recently renovated route.
”Vandalism is not only about taking slippers or rails, but also stones. We are also working with the Uganda People’s Defense Forces and local leaders along the line to see that vandalism stops,” Mr. Sengendo said, adding that it costs $8 to fix a single rail.
Mr. Sengendo claims that in addition to building passenger terminals, concrete slipper lines would also be laid from Mukono to Kampala, Mukono to Kyengera, and Kampala to Port Bell. To lessen traffic congestion, he stated, “We shall have diesel multiple units or DMU, which will carry people.”