• Uganda Railways - Metre Gauge

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

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  by rogerfarnworth
 
I anticipate that this is the final post in this series about Uganda Railway and its successors. I trust that you have enjoyed these posts. If you have, then I have been posting about metre-gauge lines in France and you might wish to look at those posts in due course!

https://rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com/20 ... 95-to-2018" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Metre-Gauge Railways in East Africa - Rolling Stock

This post provides a short survey of carriages, goods wagons and brake vans/cabooses on the network in Kenya and Uganda from the inception of the Uganda Railway in the 19th Century to through the demise of the East African Railways Corporation in 1977 on to 2018 when this post is being written. The approach is eclectic rather than structured and the post includes some interesting vehicles.
  by rogerfarnworth
 
Over Christmas 2018, I have taken some time to look through older Railway Magazines which have been waiting for my attention for months. I have enjoyed looking at copies of The Railway Magazine from 1950 and found a complete copy of an article about the Kenya-Uganda Railway in the April 1950 edition of the magazine.

I thought the full article may be of interest here. Please follow this link:

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2018/12/28/u ... april-1950" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by rogerfarnworth
 
I have been enjoying Adrian Garner's book "Monorails of the 19th Century." I discovered that the first rail link between what was at the time Port Kampala and Kampala itself was a monorail!

Rolling stock was propelled along the line by bullocks rather than any form of mechanical propulsion.

The line was less than 8 miles long and lasted no more than a few years.

These are the details:

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/02/28/a- ... in-kampala
  by george matthews
 
rogerfarnworth wrote:I have been enjoying Adrian Garner's book "Monorails of the 19th Century." I discovered that the first rail link between what was at the time Port Kampala and Kampala itself was a monorail!

Rolling stock was propelled along the line by bullocks rather than any form of mechanical propulsion.

The line was less than 8 miles long and lasted no more than a few years.

These are the details:

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/02/28/a- ... in-kampala
Later there was a short branch to Entebbe. One of its main uses was to take passengers from the steamer that connected Entebbe with Kisumu, before the direct rail line from Eldoret was finished. But the arrival of the direct railway led to the ending of the steamer service to Kisumu. The steamer did continue on the counter-clockwise route to Tanganyika, and perhaps the Entebbe branch catered to that too. But passenger service had long ceased on the rail by the 1960s. I imagine that the branch has long been disused.
  by rogerfarnworth
 
Yes George. The metre-gauge line from Kampala to Port Bell ultimately removed the need for the monorail, although by that time it was oin a very poor condition anyway.
  by george matthews
 
In the early colonial period there was a need to connect Uganda to the rest of the world. That was achieved by the steamer service to Port Bell and the short rail connections to Kampala itself. But with the direct rail connections via Eldoret the steamer was more expensive, requiring two additional transfers: at Kisumu and Port Bell. The need for the short rail connection to Kampala disappeared. It is not surprising that it decayed and was abandoned. That is a process found all over the world, not least in Britain itself, where numerous short branch lines were replaced by road transport. The Port Bell line could only have been considered viable in contrast to the road if there were to be several ferry services a day. That is not credible. I travelled on the road to Port Bell when I was a student at Makerere. It was really just a road within the Kampala urban area.
  by rogerfarnworth
 
Interesting, John.
Thank you for posting this.
Very best wishes
Roger
  by george matthews
 
It is not surprising that the Chinese have turned out to be just as oppressive as the Europeans had been.
  by george matthews
 
george matthews wrote:
rogerfarnworth wrote:I have been enjoying Adrian Garner's book "Monorails of the 19th Century." I discovered that the first rail link between what was at the time Port Kampala and Kampala itself was a monorail!

Rolling stock was propelled along the line by bullocks rather than any form of mechanical propulsion.

The line was less than 8 miles long and lasted no more than a few years.

These are the details:

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/02/28/a- ... in-kampala
Later there was a short branch to Port~Bell. One of its main uses was to take passengers from the steamer that connected Entebbe with Kisumu, before the direct rail line from Eldoret was finished. But the arrival of the direct railway led to the ending of the steamer service to Kisumu. The steamer did continue on the counter-clockwise route to Tanganyika, and perhaps the Port Bell branch catered to that too. But passenger service had long ceased on the rail by the 1960s. I imagine that the branch has long been disused.
  by rogerfarnworth
 
A while back I started this thread to cover the Uganda Railway, its construction and history, as well as surveying the length of the line through Kenya and Uganda.

At the end of 2020 I acquired copies of the 2 volume series compiled by M.F. Hill entitled 'Permanent Way'. These two books were produced for the East African Railways and Harbours, Nairobi, Kenya and, while being focussed on the Uganda Railway were as much a social and economic history of East Africa.

This link will take you to some preliminary reflections which come from reading Hill's book and which I hope are not seen as being too far off topic:

http://rogerfarnworth.com/2020/12/18/ug ... da-railway

In order to provide the context for the construction of the Uganda Railway, M.F. Hill saw it as imperative in his book to provide a social and economic history of the East African region. It is impossible for me to judge the veracity of what he writes, but it clearly is written from a British Colonial perspective. In addition to covering the strife between the European powers who sought to increase their influence in the Great  Lakes region of the continent of Africa, Hill provides extensive quotes from leading British figures in the region about the Uganda that they knew before the coming of the railway.
  by johnthefireman
 
Thanks, Roger, for reminding me of Hill's two volumes, which I can see sitting on my bookshelf. I was lucky enough to pick them up about 25 years ago from a small bookshop on Mama Ngina Street in Nairobi, for a very reasonable price. Very interesting books which supply a lot of detailed information, although as you say they are written from an official colonial perspective.
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