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Uganda to build new Standard Guage Railway from Kampala to Malaba

The Uganda Standard Gauge Railway is a planned railway system linking the country to the neighboring countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, as part of East African Railway Master Plan

The Uganda Standard Gauge Railway is a planned railway system linking the country to the neighboring countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, as part of East African Railway Master Plan (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Uganda has announced plans to build a new standard gauge railway (SGR) linking the country’s capital, Kampala with the Kenyan border, seeking to lower the cost of transport and improve the country’s competitiveness.

President Yoweri Museveni says the brand new railway line will be built from Kampala to Kasese, and later on, it will be extended from Kampala to the border of Kenya and then to South Sudan.

Museveni’s announcement revives the hope of Kenya extending the Chinese-funded SGR from Naivasha to Malaba via Kisumu.

Currently, goods destined for Uganda from Mombasa port are transported by road from Naivasha where the SGR line from Mombasa ends.

However, the latest decision by Uganda poses a fresh dilemma for Kenya, which had abandoned plans to extend the SGR line to Kisumu and later on to the Ugandan border.

This is after Kenya failed to secure a multi-billion-shilling loan from China, which had funded the first and second phases of the line. Kenya maintains that rehabilitating the Naivasha-Malaba line and building another short track connecting the SGR at Naivasha is quicker compared to building another SGR.

The Uganda Standard Gauge Railway is a planned railway system linking the country to the neighboring countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, as part of East African Railway Master Plan.

The Uganda Standard Gauge Railway is a planned railway system linking the country to the neighboring countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, as part of East African Railway Master Plan.

The Ugandan government May last year signed a $46 million (Sh5 billion) deal with the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to revamp a 260-kilometer railway that will connect to Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway, making it possible for goods and passengers to travel directly from Kampala all the way to the port of Mombasa.

Once completed, goods from the Mombasa port will be transported seamlessly via SGR and metre gauge rail to Uganda.

CRBC says it will take about a year to refurbish Uganda’s colonial-era meter-gauge railway that will go to the Rift Valley station in Naivasha where it will meet up with the standard gauge line that goes to the port

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