East African Railways - Kenya and Uganda

Aug 2018
The 4th post in a series about Uganda Railways. This post covers the journey along the original Uganda Railway from Mazeras to Voi.

Uganda Railways – Part 4 – Mazeras to Voi

I have just returned from a trip to Africa, staying in south-western Uganda. This is the 5th part of my story of the Uganda Railway. It covers the length from Voi to Ulu in Kenya.

Uganda Railways – Part 5 – Voi to Ulu

Our journey along the 'Uganda Railway' continues. In this post we travel from Ulu into Nairobi and notice two branch-lines on the way.

Uganda Railways – Part 6 – Ulu to Nairobi

This next post focusses on the station at Nairobi and its immediate environment.

Uganda Railways – Part 7 – Nairobi Railway Station, Good Yard, MPD and Railway Museum

We are gradually getting closer to the eastern border of Uganda! This is the next post in the series and covers the strech of the line from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha .....

Uganda Railways – Part 8 – West of Nairobi (Nairobi to Naivasha)

Another leg of the journey on the Uganda Railway.

Uganda Railways – Part 9 – Naivasha to Nakuru

The next two posts cover the length of the old Uganda Railway to Kisumu and Butere. Originally, this line was of significant strategic importance. Trains along the line provided access to Lake Victoria and the inland steamers that then provided access to the Great Lakes region and to Kampala via Port Bell.

The construction of the line from Nakuru to Kampala and beyond changed thing significantly and the old main line became a branch-line and has seen little traffic over recent years.

Uganda Railways – Part 10 – West of Nakuru – the line to Kisumu.

Before we return to Nakuru to follow the main line towards Kampala, one further post about the Kisumu line. There was a short branch which left the Kisumu to Nakuru line within the confines of Kisumu city. This post focusses on that line.

Uganda Railways – Part 11 – The Branch from Kisumu to Butere

Back at Nakuru, we prepare ourselves to travel on to Kampala. This post takes us to Eldoret.

Uganda Railways – Part 12 – Nakuru to Eldoret

Eldoret is a junction station. The branch-line service to Kitale set off from Eldoret. We follow its route.

Uganda Railways – Part 13 – Eldoret to Kitale (A Branch Line)

We really are now almost in Uganda! The is the last post focussing on the Uganda Railway in Kenya. It takes us from Eldoret to the border with Uganda at Malaba.

Sadly, in this post there is little evidence of locomotives. The line has seen little use over the years. I was very fortunate to be able to travel 1st Class all the way from Mombasa to Kampala in 1994. I had no idea at the time how fragile that service was.

Uganda Railways – Part 14 – Eldoret to Malaba

With this post we have crossed the border between Kenya and Uganda. Just across the border in Tororo the mainline divides to give a Kampala/Kasese route via Jinja, and a Pakwach and Aria route via Soroti. The more northerly route through Soroti was perceived as the branch but it has been the route which has been refurbished first (in 2013).

We will follow the branch first.

Uganda Railways – Part 15 – Malaba to Soroti Railway Station.
Aug 2018
We have now returned to the mainline at Tororo and are heading on toward Kampala.

We leave Tororo is a north-westerly direction following the contours on the north side of the Nagongera Road as far as Achilet (about 5 kilometres outside of Tororo). For the next 10 kilometres the railway stays north of the road until reaching Nagongera, or Nagongora, ..........

Uganda Railways – Part 18 – Tororo to Jinja

Of interest is the number of railway lines on the map between Tororo and Jinja. There is by far the greatest density of lines in Uganda.

The journey continues from Jinja to Kampala .......

The Nile River Bridge at Jinja was built in the late 1920s. It is perhaps the iconic structure for the whole of the metre-gauge railway system from Mombasa to Kasese.

The first railway in Uganda ran from Jinja to Namasagali on the Victoria Nile where a steamer service ran on to Masindi Port. From there passengers travelled by road through Masindi to Butiaba on Lake Albert. From there they could travel on by steamer to the Belgian Congo or north to Juba in the Sudan.

Train passengers from Kenya reached Uganda by steamer from the railhead at Kisumu and across Lake Victoria to Entebbe or Port Bell. In the mid 1920s the main line in Kenya was extended from Nakuru through Eldoret, and Tororo to Mbulamuti where it met up with the original Jinja to Namasagali line. The new line to Kampala then crossed the Nile at Jinja by a bridge carrying both the railway and a roadway underneath.

Uganda Railways – Part 19 – Jinja to Kampala

The last part of my own journey to Kampala by train in 1994 commenced once a derailed freight train had been rerailed ahead of us and the passenger train was ‘given the road'. We had waited for over 6 hours at Jinja Railway Station. Travelling by rail was unreliable but really enjoyable!!
Aug 2018
We are now in Kampala and preparing to travel on to Kasese.

In 1994, I attempted to travel to Kasese and I might have been able to do so if I was prepared to wait in Kampala for the possiblity that a train might run. In the end, my trip to the South West of Uganda was much better served by a road journey via Masaka, Mbarara and Kabale.

Before we take one of those intermittent passenger services from the last century, we take a good look round Kampala Railway Station.[/QUOTE]

This post (below) is the penultimate post on the direct route from Mombasa to Kasese. After this there will be two further posts. One to complete the line to Kasese and one to review an old and defunct branch line running north from Jinja. Finally there will be a series of posts about the rolling stock and locomotives on the Uganda Railway .....

Uganda Railways – Part 20 – Kampala