From Kareima downstream the Nile is navigable to kerma, just above the 3rd cataract.
El Kheir was defeated, and fixed his advanced camp at kerma.
But no sooner were the village and fort of kerma visible than the report passed along the ranks that they were deserted.
Although the river from Kosheh to kerma is broken by continual rapids, it is, with one interval, freely navigable at half Nile.
It was resolved to attack the Dervish position at kerma at dawn.
And, finally, the section from Kosheh to kerma must be completed before the Nile flood subsided.
To this end the railway was continued another hundred miles, from Kosha to kerma, which point was reached in May, 1897.
The river railway had now been carried from Wady Halfa to kerma, above the third cataract.
From Kosheh to kerma, the first Dervish position, the distance by river is 127 miles.
The extension of the line from Kosheh to kerma was therefore of vital importance.