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Go Back   Railway Forum > General Railway Discussion > Narrow Gauge

The Kampala-Bombo 2ft Narrow Gauge Railway - A Stronach-Dutton Roadrail System

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Old 3rd April 2021, 14:49
RogerFarnworth RogerFarnworth is offline  
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The Kampala-Bombo 2ft Narrow Gauge Railway - A Stronach-Dutton Roadrail System

The Kampala to Bombo Narrow Gauge Railway - A Stronach-Dutton Roadrail Railway in Uganda in the 1920s.

At the insistence of the Governor of Uganda an independent novel rail system was tried out in the early 1920s. The trial resulted in the building of a line between Kampala and Bombo which operated during the middle years of that decade. Ultimately, the system failed and it was closed well before the end of the decade.

https://rogerfarnworth.com/2021/04/0...-bombo-railway

This was a project run by the Direct Works department of the protectorate/colony and was not part of the much wider network of "The Uganda Railway" which stretched from Mombasa on the coast of Kenya to Kampala and eventually on the Kasese in the West of Uganda. Articles about the Uganda Railway network can be found on this link:

https://www.railwayforum.net/showthread.php?t=16088

I discovered this line when I came across it in an article by Henry Lubega. I have discovered quite a bit more about the design philosophy since then. The system used for the line, the Stronagh-Dutton Roadrail System, is referred to elsewhere – particularly in “Narrow Gauge Steam … and other railway curiosities, Volume 1,” a ‘bookazene’ published by Kelsey Publishing and in a relatively short publication by the Narrow Gauge Society.

At first look, it seems quite an ingenious idea – removing the weight of the locomotive from the rails enabled much lighter rails to be used. In practice, however a whole series of factors rendered the idea impracticable.


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Old 3rd April 2021, 21:25
hereward hereward is offline  
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There are a few videos of the Brandt Hi Rail Truck, in USA, on YouTube, similar idea still in use.
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Old 3rd April 2021, 22:10
RogerFarnworth RogerFarnworth is offline  
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Interesting, it is a similar idea. The Stronach-Dutton version failed in Uganda because the tractors churned up the area either side of the rails. It seems as thought the Brant version transfers the weight and power of the tractor to the rails rather than using the road wheels to carry and pull the load over rougher terrain. Is that right?
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Old 4th April 2021, 14:25
hereward hereward is offline  
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Roger, in your article it does say the Stronach Dutton removes the weight of the loco from the rails so more flimsy rails can be used. The Brandt system puts all the truck weight onto the rails, as you say.
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Old 4th April 2021, 15:12
RogerFarnworth RogerFarnworth is offline  
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Yep, the tractors were a lot larger than the trucks they pulled. The track gauge was 2ft.
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