Uganda has begun restoring a branch of a century-old, British-built railway line that is expected to cut the cost of shipping goods to the country’s north, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a railway spokesperson said.
The line, which has been out of use for roughly 40 years, is part of the East Africa rail network that stretches from Kenya’s Indian Ocean seaport of Mombasa. It was built by Kenya and Uganda’s former colonial ruler Britain around the beginning of the 20th century.
Uganda decided to revamp the old network after plans to build a separate modern standard gauge railway (SGR) failed to secure financing from China.
Early this year Uganda terminated a contract with China Harbour and Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) to build the $2.2 billion SGR and is seeking a new contractor.
The restoration of the old railway line is expected to provide a much-needed boost to the region’s economy by reducing the cost of shipping goods. It will also provide an alternative means of transportation for people living in the area.
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