The Uganda Railway Museum

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Uganda Railway Museum

The August 1895 Bill in the British Parliament acted as an opener to the existence of the regional famous Uganda Railway. The Bill authorized the construction of a railway from Mombasa to the shores of Lake Victoria that afterward extended to Northern Uganda, and to Kasese in Western Uganda.

The railway indeed holds a number of artifacts that have been significant to Uganda’s social and economic values. With such great artifacts about the Uganda Railway, there has been insufficient display that narrates all about the railway.

Then, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) together with the European Nations and the Uganda Railway corporations Uganda (URC) and SODEA-SATOM have partnered and established the first-ever Uganda Railway Museum.

The Museum was opened up in Jinja Uganda’s second industrial city east of Kampala at the shores of Lake Victoria, along Jinja-Iganga Highway at the Railway Station. The Uganda Railway is the first of its kind in Uganda and as well in the East African region. The museum will diversify the range of tourist attractions in Uganda to both local and foreign tourists.

There are ongoing government efforts to revamp the railway transport with the rehabilitation of the northern line and the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway. The establishment of the railway museum thus complements the government of Uganda’s efforts to highlight the importance of railway transport by reinvigorating its interest among Ugandans.

On the 16th of March 2022, all partners, CCFU, EU, URC, and SODEA-SATOM gathered in Jinja to grace the launching of the Museum.

The Museum was launched by Ms. Caroline Adriaensen the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation in Uganda who represented H.E Attilio Pacific (EU ambassador), and Mr. Sam Kizalwa, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of museums and monuments at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.

Speaking on behalf of H.E. Attilio Pacifici, ”the Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Uganda, Ms. Caroline Adriaensen, the Head of Cooperation, noted that the museum presents a great opportunity to recognize and appreciate the history of the railways in Uganda, their role in the lives of Ugandans who lived and worked along with them, and their place in the country’s political and economic development. The European Union is delighted to support the revival of this crucial infrastructure and an important piece of our collective memory in Uganda”.

The Uganda Railways Corporation Board Chairman, Mr. Hannington Karuhanga said that the railway museum complements the government’s efforts to revamp the railway line adding that it should be a place of reflection, learning, and interaction, especially for young people.

The CCFU notes that the establishment of the Uganda Railway Museum is a long foundation target of making a collection of Uganda’s history, particularly of the Railway. The book titled “Our Railway, Our History” was produced in 2021 to recognize and celebrate the story of our railway lines; explore their role in the lives of Ugandans who lived and worked along with them, and their place in the country’s economic and political development.

The Museum is open to the general public from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm at a fee.

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