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More work still needed on Tororo-Pakwach railway line

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th September 2014 10:57 AM

Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the firm that has rail services concessionaire in Uganda and Kenya, says more work needs to be done for the Tororo-Pakwach railway to be fully operational.

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Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the firm that has rail services concessionaire in Uganda and Kenya, says more work needs to be done for the Tororo-Pakwach railway to be fully operational.


By Billy Rwothungeyo

Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the firm that has rail services concessionaire in Uganda and Kenya, says more work needs to be done for the Tororo-Pakwach railway to be fully operational.
 
Despite President Yoweri Museveni commissioning the railway last year, transportation of cargo along that route is minimal, if nonexistent at all.

During the commission of three new locomotives to arrive in Uganda and Kenya since 1987 in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa on Thursday, Stephen Chebrot, the state minister for Transport urged RVR to expedite any pending works on the route to make it commercially viable again.
 
“We have a lot of bulk cargo moving to Northern Uganda and South Sudan, even some parts of Congo,” he told New Vision after the launch.
 
“All these goods are moved by trucks, which is damaging the roads network. You can see a good road like Soroti-Lira is slowing being destroyed by these trucks and so we need to transport most of these goods by the rail."
 
 
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RVR director Charles Mbiire (left) with Chebrot (C) and Kamau at the launch of the new locomotives
 

Cosma Gatere, RVR’s external affairs director said some of the criticism directed towards the firm is unfair as regards the Tororo-Pakwach railway, which runs through Gulu.
 
“Part of the problem is that many people do not understand what the requirement was. It (requirement) was that we reopen the route after the end of the war in Northern Uganda, which we did,” he said.
 
Gatere maintains however that re-opening the route alone is not enough.
 
“The line needs further investment, ballasting, strengthening the beds and the shoulders. Until this is done, there will be a limited capacity of cargo that can be transported on that route. There will also be a need for a fairly strong operational capacity in Gulu.”
 
 
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Transport state minister Chebrot in one of the locomotives
 

The RVR director said RVR is mobilizing money to undertake these additional works.
 
The three locomotives that were commissioned are the first of 20 American built engines that are set to arrive on the East African in the next five months.
 
They were received by Eng. Michael Kamau, the cabinet secretary from Kenya’s Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and Stephen Chebrot of Uganda.

More work still needed on Tororo-Pakwach railway line

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