The Sudan Military Railway
in Engines for empire
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The length and significance of the Sudan Military Railway enabled its creator, Major-General Sir Horatio Herbert Kitchener, to bring his Anglo-Egyptian army of 23,000 men into the heart of the Sudan. Kitchener obtained the indispensable services of Lieutenant E. Percy C. Girouard, a French Canadian, who would serve as his director of railways at the age of twenty-nine years. Work on the railway between Wadi Halfa and Sarras, at first under Lieutenant A. G. Stevenson, RE, and later under Girouard, commenced. As Colonel Sandes perceptively observed, 'The Dongola Expedition, and the Omdurman Campaign which followed it, consisted of building railways with attendant military operations rather than of military operations with attendant railway construction. Extending the railway involved clearing the desolate village of Akasha, establishing telegraphic communications with Wadi Halfa, building a new fort and preparing an entrenched camp.

Engines for empire

The Victorian army and its use of railways


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