• Kenya- Uganda Railway

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by johnthefireman
philipmartin wrote:Jo-burg. Learned a new word
aka Josie, or Joanna if you follow Eddie Grant!
  by philipmartin
Josie- OK.
  by george matthews
The real question about the East African railways is the effect of changing to Standard Gauge, as is happening in Kenya. I suspect that the real impetus for this is China's plans. A SG line will be able to carry larger amounts of freight. But I hope it will extend right through Uganda to the borders of the Congo, and perhaps over them. Perhaps too it will allow faster trains. Perhaps it will eliminate the need for sleeper trains which really exist because the trains on the Metre gauge are rather slow. I have slept over most of the system.

I wonder what advantage the Chinese expect from sponsoring a SG line from Mombasa to Uganda, and perhaps the Congo. Do they have any other plans, such as lines from Uganda in to South Sudan? Would they want to build SG lines into Tanzania?

They will not always be able to build a SG line on the existing terrain. For example some of the curves are too sharp for a SG line. There are not many tunnels in East Africa but they would need to be opened out. It seems unlikely that some of the branch lines would be relaid. Even the Kisumu line might be lost.
  by johnthefireman
As far as I know there are possibilities of Standard Gauge from Kenya going to Uganda, South Sudan and even Ethiopia. This might be the line from the new port at Lamu rather than the Standard Gauge line which shadows the existing metre-gauge line from Mombasa. I've heard somewhere (can't remember where) that ultimately the new Lamu line should go as far as Cameroon, but even if that is true it's many decades away, methinks.

I don't think the Mombasa Standard Gauge is intended to follow the exact alignment of the existing metre-gauge line - as you say, that would be impossible in some instances - but to broadly follow the same route rather than creating a completely new route as the Lamu line will.
  by philipmartin
Thailand- Nice photo by Andrew Benton of the colorful Siamese diesel, and the folks sitting on bench between the tracks, (must be railfans.) I grew up with a Siamese cat, so I am interested in Siam.
Last edited by philipmartin on Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by george matthews
johnthefireman wrote:PS: It's happening in Thailand too:

Chinese-backed standard gauge project edges forward
The colonial era narrow gauge lines in Africa have outlived their usefulness. I met the metre gauge lines of East Africa when landing at Mombasa in 1965. I enjoyed the train from Mombasa to Kampala where I travelled with a large group of new graduates recruited to boost the education systems in the three territories.

I met the Cape gauge lines in Zambia and down to the Cape itself. Later I had a post near the Botswana line and then in Nigeria. There is very little difference in utility between the Cape and the Metre gauges - except of course that they prevent inter-connection. Both should be regauged.

The Metre and Cape gauge lines were built to open up the territories in the early years of colonialism, as cheaply as possible. But now it is time to convert them all to Standard Gauge, and to connect them across the colonial borders. It's the same problem as in Australia where they do now have a standard gauge network with unfortunate Cape gauge pockets (and the even more unfortunate Irish gauge territory).
  by george matthews
johnthefireman wrote:PS: It's happening in Thailand too:

Chinese-backed standard gauge project edges forward
Yes, the south east Asian lines should all be converted and be connected to the SG network of China.

The "narrow gauge" lines were a product of Empire and the desire to minimise the cost of building railways in the colonies. But generally the Imperial powers had no interest in linking to other nation's lines - just as in Africa. There are two other gauge problems in Asia. One is the Russian Broad gauge; the other is the south Asian gauge in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. I have no idea what can be done about those. The Standard Gauge does reach the border of Pakistan where the Iranian railway reaches the frontier. I am not sure what are the implications of that junction. Could the western Pakistan line be converted? Or should freight be transferred at the frontier? The probability of guerilla activity in that area is a complication.
  by philipmartin
David Benton wrote: I used to live on the Coromandel peninusla
All from wiki-

1) Waikawau Bay on Coromandel Peninsula

2) View over Mercury Bay from the Tairua-Whitianga Road on Coromandel Peninsula

3) Opito Bay, Coromandel Peninsula.
  by David Benton
You would probably have some interesting conversations with this old boy, Philip , Barry Brickell is a Coromandel icon. Must be in his 80's now.
http://www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by philipmartin
"The Eyefull Tower" Oh oh, it sounds as though Mr Brickell has an unusual sense of humor, like mine. That's a good track plan. You take a long ride, full of tunnels and bridges, without getting very far; just right for a recreational railway.
Mr.Brickell is a little older than me; I won't be eighty until next year.
  by johnthefireman
What a remarkable achievement.
  by philipmartin
johnthefireman wrote:What a remarkable achievement.
You need a good imagination to build a railroad like that.
  by philipmartin
johnthefireman wrote: Kenya Standard Gauge
I thought the railway tender report had something to do with steam locomotives; but I see not.
3500 new workers; 3.6 billion Kenyan shillings to put in the SG: welcome to the high tax club, John.

Reading about the Mandera massacres and the Chinese cyber criminals in your Daily Nation.
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