Kenya Railways has dispatched a set of train wagons to the Nanyuki terminus to be used in the ongoing repair of the 240km metre-gauge railway line in Central Kenya.
The wagons, which were offloaded in the town on Tuesday, were transported to the terminus by road and are expected to ease the refurbishment works.
KR Managing Director Phillip Mainga accompanied senior staff from Nairobi and held a meeting with Nanyuki-based Railways officials.
Mr Mainga said the wagons included two low-sided wagons for ferrying murram and tools, and two hopper wagons for ballast.
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“We also have one passenger coach for ferrying the workers doing the repairs and a locomotive for pulling the wagons and the coach,” he said.
Mainga said the wagons were to help hasten the repair works so as to meet the June deadline for completion. “We have two teams working on the railway line; one from Nairobi who are currently at Maragua and have repaired the line from Nairobi to Murang’a, all the way to Sagana,” he said.
The second team is working from Nanyuki towards Nyeri and Sagana. Mainga said the team had arrived to carry out inspection and one of the challenges observed was drainage systems that had been exposed by the heavy rains.
Currently, the works include clearing of drainage and murraming along the railway tracks. “The line from Nanyuki to Sagana is in fairly good condition and we are hopeful that we shall complete the works along the route within the next two months,” he said.
He urged communities along the Nairobi-Nanyuki line and the public in general to be aware of the activities that will be taking place and stay away from the rail lines for their own safety.
Central Kenya Regional Board CEO Ndirangu Gachunia said the revival of the railway has been the focus for the region since the late Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru, championed the refurbishment of the line.
“The railway line is our next frontier in boosting our agricultural sector as it will link the region with the Standard Gauge Railway,” said Mr Gachunia.
He said Central Kenya counties under the board are key contributors to the economy and the railway line will actualise their potential.
At least 600 traders at the Chaka open-air market in Nyeri County have been temporarily relocated to pave way for the construction of a new railway station.
President Uhuru Kenyatta inspected the project in March and assured the traders that the railway line would open up regional trade.