Uganda has signed a US $1.4m with a Chinese firm China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to revamp the Kampala-Malaba Metre Gauge Railway (MGR). The 260km line will eventually be linked to the standard gauge railway (SGR) track in Naivasha via the Malaba-Naivasha MGR which also undergoing rehabilitation. Completion of the two rehabilitation projects will ensure goods from the Mombasa port are transported seamlessly via SGR and MGR rail to Uganda.
Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said they were part of the talks between CRBC and the Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) for the revamp of the Malaba-Kampala line. “We came here to assist Uganda conclude this deal. It has been done. The idea is to make sure that we have a seamless operation of the metre gauge railway line from Naivasha all the way to Kampala,” he said.
“We had contracted CRBC to rehabilitate the Longonot-Malaba line and the progress is good so far. So, we felt for it to make sense, Uganda had to also start doing the same for their line to make this project complete,” he added.
Kampala-Malaba MGR Project
The Kampala-Malaba MGR project is part of the bigger proposed Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) project, which will entail the rehabilitation of the 8.3km Kampala-Port Bell section and the 12.3km Kampala-Nalukolongo-Kyengera section, purchase and rehabilitation of coaches, wagons and locomotives, creation of a railway training school to equip Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) Management and Staff with modern railway skills, and stock new spares for the workshop.
China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will take under a year to upgrade the Kampala-Malaba line.