Re-building of Tororo – Gulu – Pakwach line by RVR gives rail transport option to northern Uganda
Kenyan businesses targeting the South Sudan and eastern DRC market can now transport goods for most of the journey by rail following the re-commissioning of Tororo-Pakwach railway line in northern Uganda.
The 500km railway line from Tororo in the east of the country, through Lira, Gulu and Pakwach in the north was re-commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni at the Gulu Railway Station on 26th October.
President Museveni commended Rift Valley Railways for rebuilding and reopening the railway that was last in use 20 years ago. The track that had fallen into disrepair, with large sections washed away, destroyed or overgrown with vegetation, was rebuilt at the cost of $2 million over a 10-month period.
Speaking at the ceremony, RVR chairman Ngugi Kiuna, said, “reopening this railway is not only a fulfillment of a promise under our concession agreement; it heralds a new beginning for northern Uganda, one that is teeming with possibilities for the people and economies of Uganda and East Africa”.
Kiuna said a further $15 million will be spent to ballast the line in order to improve the line’s stability and load carrying capacity. A third phase with involve laying new, heavier guage railway tracks, which deliver a step change in cargo transportation capacity.
President Museveni urged local business and large scale farmers to increase their productivity as they now have a railway transport mode to transport their produce.
Mr Kiuna appealed for the government’s help in creating efficiencies right through the freight transport chain including through simpler customs and tax documentation at points of origin and departure and eliminating additional border customs processing which he called an anomaly in the era of a Single Customs Territory.
President Museveni flagged of a train carrying with cement from Bamburi that will be transshipped by road to eastern DRC.
The railway will play an important role in promoting regional integration and trade through working with logistics partners who will provide door-to-door delivery to customers in northern Uganda and neighboring countries.