19October2017

07 September 2013

Government to re-open Tororo-Pakwach railway line

The Government is to re-open the Tororo-Pakwach railway line at the end of July after the completion of rehabilitation works.

Darlan De David, the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) group chief executive officer, in a letter to works minister Eng. Abraham Byandala, said the rehabilitated line will be completed on July 31.

In the June 20 letter, David said the rehabilitation works to Gulu would be completed by June 30. The letter was copied to the Uganda Railways Corporation and the Privatisation Unit in the Ministry of Finance.

“However, without the five level crossings between Lolim and Pakwach, we will complete works on July 15. In the event that the crossings are addressed in time with the full cooperation of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), we are confident that we shall be able to begin trial runs on the line from July 31,” David added.

He said notwithstanding the challenges of the crossings, the line should be operational up to Gulu by the end of this month.

The Tororo-Pakwach line, which has been out of service for decades, will be pivotal as an economic artery linking eastern Uganda to northern Uganda, as well as the neighbouring countries of South Sudan and DR Congo.

David said the completion of the rehabilitation and reopening the line will be a major milestone in opening the northern corridor.

The Rift Valley Railways (RVR) hired Kato Contractors, a Ugandan engineering company, to repair the line in a phased approach at an estimated cost of $2m.

The works included clearing bushes, weeding, removal of anthills, restoration of washed out areas due to flooding and installation of culverts.

Under the recently launched National Transport Master Plan, the Government is to improve railway infrastructure with a standard gauge railway line, to addresses growth in demand for transport, along with general increase in property in the country.

The rail network will be vital in developing the country’s oilfields which lie in western and northern Uganda, with a new railway line from Gulu to Nimule and South Sudan.

In his State of the Nation address this month, President Yoweri Museveni said the country’s railways infrastructure will be built as part of the Vision 2040, and Uganda has received good offers from reliable financiers, while the UPDF Engineering Brigade has been trained to undertake the railway construction work.