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Uganda Revives Passenger Trains in Kampala: A Solution to Traffic Woes

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  • He acknowledged the persistent congestion on roads and emphasized the potential of the train service to provide a smoother and quicker alternative, labeling it a worthwhile initiative.
  • A locomotive now pulls five coaches capable of accommodating up to 800 passengers, facilitating four trips daily—two in the morning and two in the evening.

After a year of renovation efforts, Uganda has reinstated passenger train services in select areas of the capital city Kampala.

A locomotive now pulls five coaches capable of accommodating up to 800 passengers, facilitating four trips daily—two in the morning and two in the evening. The fare for a journey is now set at 2,000 Ugandan shillings (approximately 50 U.S. cents), a slight increase from the previous 1,000 shillings.

Renovation work on the 25 km meter gauge railway line between Kampala and Namanve primarily targeted hazardous areas and damaged sections.

The government views the reintroduction of passenger train services as a solution to Kampala’s notorious traffic congestion. According to a 2017 World Bank report, Uganda loses over 800 million U.S. dollars annually due to traffic jams, attributed to decreased productivity, wasted fuel, and heightened emissions.

Milly Akanga, a regular train commuter, attested that train travel significantly reduces the time spent navigating road traffic en route to the capital. She emphasized that the train journey takes around 20 minutes, a stark contrast to the hour-long commute by road.

Minister of Works and Transport Katumba Wamala affirmed the government’s commitment to easing the strain of road transportation. He acknowledged the persistent congestion on roads and emphasized the potential of the train service to provide a smoother and quicker alternative, labeling it a worthwhile initiative.

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