CONSULTANTS have been commissioned by the East African Community to study plans to build up to 15 new lines as part of a railway development master plan.

Many of the proposals are extremely ambitious, and here we would single out a line running west from Kasese in Uganda across the frontier to Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a shorter line heading north from Gulu to Nimule and thence to Juba in Sudan, and a similar route striking northeast from Pakwach to Juba and Wau.

No less audacious is a 1 200 km line stretching from Garissa in Kenya to Addis Abeba in Ethiopia and a 1 000 km route linking Lamu to Garissa and Juba in Sudan. For the record, another line is proposed from Masaka in Uganda, running parallel to the western shore of Lake Victoria, to reach Biharamulo in Tanzania, where no less than eight other new routes are proposed. These would run from Mbamba Bay on Lake Malawi to Ligunga via Mchuchuma; from Ligunga to Mlimba; from Dar-es-Salaam south along the coast to the port of Mtwara; from Tunduma — where the Tan-Zam railway crosses into Zambia — north via Sumbawanga and Mpanda to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika; from Uvinza on the Tabora – Kigoma line north to Bujumbura in Burundi; from Bagamoyo on the east coast to Kidomole; and from Isaka on the Tabora – Mwanza line to Kigali in Rwanda.