Northern Railway Line Reopened

Northern Railway Line Reopened

Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has opened the Tororo-Gulu-Pakwach line, taking the train back to northern Uganda. The 500-km railway track, last operational in 1993, is open for business following the completion of repairs on the track, bridges and culverts that had been destroyed – after lying idle for 20 years. The first train carrying steel imports for Juba from Mombasa port was received in Gulu last week.

“This new service will play a vital role in promoting regional integration and trade by accessing areas hitherto closed to rail transportation,” said RVR’s External Affairs Director Cosma Gatere in a statement. “We will provide end-to-end transport and delivery solutions for customers in this important part of East Africa.”

Heinz Mueller, managing director for Spedag Interfreight, a logistics company, called the reopening another step towards improving growth of businesses in and near northern Uganda, as it would increase exports and imports.

Production costs are a big challenge for businesses in the region, including transport costs due to the poor road network. Traders want railway lines between Uganda and Kenya, and other parts of the region, to cut down on the costs of transport.

The analysis of the northern line reportedly cost $2m (Shs 5.2bn) to facilitate freight cargo access by rail to northern Uganda and allow much easier trans-shipment by road to Juba in South Sudan and eastern DRC.

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