the 500 kilometre Tororo-Pakwach railway line, which has been inactive for 12 years, will cost Shs1.5 trillion, a feasibility study has shown.

Mr Don Gillstrom, the Vice President of Canarails, a company that undertook the study, said yesterday that the upgrading will mean that the railway will support a high standard tonnage, operate freight trains at the speed of 120 kilometres per hour and passenger trains at 160 kilometres per hour. He said the funding is expected to come from the government, private-public partnership or private sector. But in the private sector, according to Mr Gillstrom, the investors have to be guaranteed with 25 per cent interest from the earnings.

Canarails carried out the study between September and October 2009 and gave three alternatives to activate the railway including the full upgrading, partial upgrading and minimum rehabilitation.

According to the study, in the first ten years of operations, full upgrading will bring high economic growth whereas partial upgrading which will cost Shs700 billion, will contribute medium growth. Minimum rehabilitation is estimated to cost Shs90 billion and will yield low economic growth. Experts estimate the railway to last 50 years.

The report states that the railway line is targeting the transportation of crude oil from West Nile to Mombasa Port, exportation of cash crops from northern region, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan. However, some leaders in eastern and northern Uganda say people who encroached on the railway line reserves should be compensated.

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