The Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) has said it is not
yet ready to resume passenger train services due to ongoing works to ensure
observing the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.
The passenger train service was shut down in March this year
following the outbreak of COVID-19, and although Uganda Railways had set dates
for resumption, this has kept on changing with the corporation saying that the risk
of COVID-19 on a train with passengers is too high.
About 60,000 passengers had
used the train in the month of February and 45,000 in March just before the
Charles Kateeba, the Managing Director of URC says that over
the six months, they have been handling freight to decongest the road, and
that has been the major focus. He said so far they have repaired locomotives
and wagons and are planning to purchase 8 more locomotives.
He says they are starting work on separation at
stations and terminals which require some physical construction work. He says
this has not yet started, but they hope that all the halts and stations will be
reconstructed to ensure that it meets the COVID-19 standard operating
Kateeba says now their focus is going to be on passengers with emphasis on ensuring social distancing.
On the time frame, Kateeba said that they are working with a
plan, but did not want to excite the public on when they will resume.
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Kateeba added that although they know people are missing the services
of the train, they want to be sure when everything is set for the train to
The commuter train has five coaches with a carrying capacity of a
maximum of 200 passengers.