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Upgrade of railway needed to boost cargo services

Updated Thursday, July 16th 2009 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Peter Atsiaya

Rift Valley Railways (RVR) wants the Government to upgrade the Nakuru-Kisumu railway line to increase volume of cargo transported to Western Kenya.

RVR Executive Chairman Brown Ondego said the railway line can no longer sustain heavy wagons.

"This has affected smooth transport of goods to the Kisumu inland container depot and the port," he said.

"Wagons transporting heavy goods to Kisumu from Mombasa and Nairobi have to stop in Nakuru, to transfer the good to smaller wagons, before they proceed to Kisumu," he added.

Mr Ondego said only light locomotives were allowed on the railway line. He said they were facing the same problem from Tororo to Jinja in Uganda.

He pointed out that the railway line could only sustain six wagons at a time, which he said did not make economic sense.

Ondego said they were engaging the Government with the view of upgrading the railway line to increase its capacity, and transport bulky cargo. "What we have does not meet the requirements of a railway line. We are running services for trucks and not a train," he added.

Ondego, who was speaking at Kisumu Port during a tour of the facility with other RVR officials, was accompanied by RVR Western region Commercial Manager Louis Nyalwal.

Resume services

The officials were inspecting the progress of repairs on the MV Uhuru ferry. The ferry stalled in 2006.

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