Kenya Government will spend KSh4.5 billion to repair old metre gauge rails including the 217km Nakuru-Kisumu metre gauge railway (MGR), 77.8km Gilgil-Nyahururu MGR branch line and the 69.05 Kisumu-Butere section which are currently in a poor state of disrepair
Kenya Railways will spend KSh3 billion for the Nakuru-Kisumu line, KSh537 million for Kisumu- Butere link and KSh1 billion for Gilgil- Nyahururu branch line.
According to William Rutto, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) general manager operations and harbour master,the railway lines will enable importers and exporters to handle their cargo from Kisumu instead of travelling all the way to Mombasa.
The three lines will act as main trans-shipment points between the standard gauge railway and road for freight traffic destined for areas beyond Naivasha inland container depot.
The lines will serve freight destined for Uganda, Southern Sudan, DRC, Rwanda and Burundi before implementation of Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba SGR project
The services along the line will reconnect the railway line with the recently rehabilitated Kisumu port, reduce carbon emission and support the establishment of special economic zones along the counties traversed.
Kenya Railways plan
The project seeks to replace the existing rail, signal equipment, stations and locomotive-hauled coaches with modern and efficient rail infrastructure and passenger coaches with new technology.
According to KRC planning, design and environment manager John Maina, the repaired lines will promote transport of bulky cargo from the port of Mombasa to Kisumu and to the Great Lakes countries.
Some of the counties set to benefit include Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu, Vihiga, Siaya, Kakamega, Nyandarua and Laikipia. The corporation has already successfully run the first trial freight train on the new constructed link connecting the Standard Gauge Railway and Meter Gauge Railway in Naivasha
Kenya Railways will also construct a new station at Kisumu which will have components such as the manager’s office, reception, waiting lounge and lobby.
The hub has approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space and is expected to provide passengers with an enhanced experience as well as create business opportunities for small and medium enterprises and create jobs for local residents.