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Cargo, passenger train on Mai Mahiu-Malaba route starts in March, State says

By Antony Gitonga | January 20th 2021 at 14:37:42 GMT +0300

Workers from China Road and Bridge Corporation work on a section of the 24km railway line from Mai Mahiu Industrial Park to Longonot in Naivasha (PHOTO Antony Gitonga)

 

Full railway transport from Mai Mahiu to the Malaba border is expected to kick off by March this year according to the State.

 

The train is expected to ease movement and reduce the cost for passengers and cargo.

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Already, the extension of the 24km railway line from Mai Mahiu Industrial Park to Longonot town is 50 percent complete and ahead of the set schedule.

This emerged when senior officials from Kenya Railways met commissioners from counties where the Western Railway will pass through.

During the meeting in Lake Naivasha Resort, encroachment and vandalism were identified as major challenges currently facing the multi-million project.

Despite the challenges, Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui was optimistic that the set March deadline would be met.

He noted that the section of the meter-gauge railway line from Nairobi to Naivasha had been working adding that this needed minor rehabilitation.

In an interview after the workshop, the commissioner noted that rehabilitation works on the railway line were in high gear with the State using KDF and NYS officers for the works.

“The government is keen on revitalising the railway line which will play a crucial role in ferrying goods and passengers to Western Kenya and neighboring countries,” he said.

Mbui at the same time issued a notice to those who had encroached on the railway land to move out as the government would evict them to pave way for the ongoing works.

“The process of recovering the encroached railway line is underway and there are major plans to supply electricity and water to the tens of stations along this route,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the CS for Transport James Macharia said that the government had set aside Sh3.4 billion for the upgrading of the railway line.

Macharia noted that the future of transporting cargo in the region lay in the railway as it was fast, cost-effective, efficient, and safe.

“The new railway extension will be used to collect cargo from the Inland Container Depot for further transportation to neighboring countries of Uganda and DRC,” he said.


Kenya Railways CS James Macharia SGR
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