Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the company that operates the current railway services in Uganda, has said it would like KCCA and the government to be joint venture partners in the proposed revival passenger train services.
Sammy Gachuhi, the Concession Manager at RVR, said that revamping passenger train services will require “massive investment,” which the company is yet to determine. He said that after the eviction of people who were encroaching on the track, surveyors would be sent in to assess the damage.
Gachuhi says that for these services to succeed, massive investment in coaches, locomotives as well as facilities for effective operations of urban passenger services will have to be put into consideration.
KCCA at the end of July 2014 started the process of evicting people who had encroached on the railway line. The eviction process was halted less than a week later as residents secured a court injunction for KCCA to stay this process. Hearing of the case is yet to begin.
RVR also revealed that their plan is to have passenger services as a pilot project for at least one year. The schedule is yet to be finalized but could involve morning and evening trips, according to Gashuhi. There are likely to be stops at Nakaawa, Namboole and Kireka.
In the concession signed with government in 2006, RVR was only to carryout cargo train services and not passenger services. This explains the call on government to be investor in the passenger service revival.
RVR recently made the final withdrawal of 70 million Dollars on a loan it took out in 2011. The money is meant to be invested over five years, but none of it has been committed to the Uganda passenger service revival.