Government commissions railway training center in Nalukongo

TRANSPORTATION | RAILWAY | COACHING

KAMPAL- The Minister of State for Transport, Fred Byamukama, has urged employees of the Uganda Railway Corporation to ensure proper management and accountability of all resources at their disposal.

This was during the commissioning of the Railway Capacity Building Center at Nalukolongo, Rubaga Division in Kampala.

Nalukolongo houses the URC terminal, public yard, warehouse and land.

Byamukama said the growth of the railway sector is necessary for Uganda’s development.

Benon Kajuna, director of transport at the Ministry of Works and Transport who represented Byamukama, said the establishment of the center was part of efforts to transform the Uganda Railways Corporation into a profitable and self-sustaining entity.

He said the Uganda Railways Corporation concession to Rift Valleys Railway in 2018 had failed and was being canceled with the government now continuing its efforts to revamp it.

Kajuna said that in line with Vision 2040, the government is committed to providing resources for a number of projects, one of them being capacity building for the railway workforce.

“Capacity building is the fastest way to create a skilled workforce that is needed to lead Uganda Railways to greater heights,” Kajuna added.

He noted that the government’s massive investment in rail and river transport aims to shift heavy cargo from roads to rail.

He said it will save money that would have been spent on maintaining roads damaged by heavy trucks using them and reduce transport costs for imports and exports.

The capacity building program is funded by the Spanish government at a cost of 4.8 million Euros (sh19.2b).

The company implementing the project is a Spanish company called Consultrans.

The company has a reputation for modernizing rail infrastructure.

Consultrans will rehabilitate the railway line linking Kampala city to Mukono district.

Consultrans, founded in 1985, specializes in the creation of innovative solutions for all modes of transport, road, sea, air and rail, for passengers and goods.

The main activities of Consultrans related to the railway sector concern transport infrastructure and civil engineering.

Julian Valerde, President of Consultrans, commended the Ugandan government for its decision to transform rail transport in Uganda.

He noted that this commitment is a step in the right direction to transform the lives of Ugandans in line with government priorities.

Stanley Sendegeya, managing director of the Uganda Railways Corporation, urged the workforce to embrace the scheme.

“The program is there to develop your knowledge base. It is this knowledge that will help you appreciate your contribution to the company’s strategic plan,” Sendegeya said.

He called on the workforce to embrace change and be engaged stakeholders.

“We may have challenges now, many of which are not of our making, but with your undivided commitment to your work and the desire to make Uganda Railways efficient and effective, the railway sub-sector in Uganda will thrive,” Sendegeya said.

The government and development partners are rehabilitating the Kampala – Malaba railway line to facilitate seamless movement of goods from Malaba to Kampala and vice versa, rehabilitation of the Gulu to Pakwach and Kampala to Kasese lines, among others.

Plans are underway to expand passenger transport from Kampala to Jinja and Kyengera.

Sendegeya said this initiative will reduce congestion on the roads while saving time and money for passengers on these routes.

This project will be carried out over the next three years.

These upgrades are expected to make the railway Uganda’s largest provider of freight and passenger services, carrying around six million passengers a year traveling by rail and 180,000 tonnes of freight monthly.

Milton S. Rodgers