URC expands rail commuter service
Uganda Railways Corporation URC, has embarked on a program that will see it spreading its commuter service to cover more routes around greater Kampala metropolitan area. A new service to Luzira started operations January 11, while Nalukolongo will be added to the network in March.
Stanley Sendegeya, the managing director at the corporation said the service would stop at Nalukolongo for now, but there are plans to extend it to Bujuuko in about a years’ time. The sub-contract for rebuilding the line between Nalukolongo and Bujuuko, has already been signed under the Euro300 million contract for rehabilitation of the 273km Kampala-Malaba sector.
“Ideally, the trains on the western axis should have gone all the way to Bujuuko. But there is no track beyond Nalukolongo. So, we shall be rebuilding the line in the second phase of our rehabilitation program,” Sendegeya told 256BN.
He further revealed that the existing passenger service on the eastern axis, which stops in Namanve will be soon be extended to reach Mukono in about a year’s time.
Other near-term projects include the strengthening and rebuilding the Malaba-Gulu-Pakwach sector. Works on the line will involve adding ballast to the line and replacement of slippers. This will improve the speed and carrying capacity of the 48-year-old track and allow the corporation to tap into shipping equipment for upstream development of the oil fields on the northern bank of the River Nile.