The military-backed Ugandan government has begun a program of rehabilitation of the country's railway system--left in a ruinous state after the break-up of the East African Community (EAC) in 1976.
GV Technicians fitting out new locomotive in Kampala, Uganda (2 shots)
SV Technician working on locomotive engine, GV Man in cab working (3 shots)
CU Nameplate "Alsthom"
GV Front of locomotive and man inspecting
PAN ACROSS New locomotive inside shed
GV Old West German locomotive
GV Discarded locomotives and old tracks (5 shots)
GV Discarded locomotive in front of former workshops and debris (3 shots)
GV New locomotive up and past PAN along (2 shots)
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Background: The military-backed Ugandan government has begun a program of rehabilitation of the country's railway system--left in a ruinous state after the break-up of the East African Community (EAC) in 1976. The Ugandan rail system was formerly part of the Railways Corporation, a joint venture shared by the three EAC members--Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. A fleet of seven diesel-electric locomotives arrived in Kampala last week (25 July) the first of a consignment of more than two dozen units expected within the next year.
SYNOPSIS: The first diesel-electric locomotives to arrive in Kampala were built by a French company at a cost of about 50-million U.S. dollars. The contract, which was signed while former dictator, Idi Amin, was still in power, includes a supply of spare parts to maintain the locomotives in good running order. The new engines will operate on the main Kampala-Tororo line.
The French-made locomotives will be joined later this year by seven sister engines and a further twenty East German hydraulic locomotives.
The Ugandan Railway Corporation expects to spend hundreds of millions on new workshops, signalling and track facilities. Many workshops and signalling facilities were previously centred in Kenya. Now Uganda is faced with establishing a vast network of new tracks.
Under the EAC arrangement, Uganda used second-hand tracks from Kenya and Tanzania--most of it too light for normal service, and some dating back to World War Two. East Germany is now considering an aid program involving about one million U.S. dollars' worth of spare parts.
The Corporation's rolling stock, too, is wearing out and almost four hundred new wagons have been ordered. But these won't fill the gap. Only an eventual straightening-out of the EAC dissolution arrangements will east the situation.
The new engines will haul the country's principles export, coffee. But only two of the requested five trains a week will be allowed to pass through Kenya, which insists on using its own locomotives.