The US $24.6m Naivasha ICD-Longonot railway line project is currently 50% complete. The project involves the construction of a new 24.35km Meter Gauge Railway line linking Naivasha ICD with the existing Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) line at Longonot and also the construction of two new railway stations.
According to the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), the project would integrate the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the MGR in a bid to provide a seamless network to facilitate movement of cargo from the Port of Mombasa to Lake Victoria in Kisumu and also Malaba, the border point with Uganda.
The National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC) led by Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa recently inspected the Naivasha ICD-Longonot railway line project. Other dignitaries who accompanied Wamalwa included Tourism CS Najib Balala, Transport CS James Macharia and Trade CS Betty Maina.
Rehabilitating railway lines in Kenya
The government recently announced the rehabilitation of railway lines in Kenya in order to reduce the traffic congestion experienced along major roads within the country. Among the railway lines is the Longonot-Malaba MGR which is expected to be completed by 2021.
According to KRC Chairman Omudho Awitta the rehabilitation of railway lines is aimed at enhancing accessibility and functionality, a process which will upscale the lines’ contribution to national growth.
The entire project from Naivasha ICD-Malaba was allocated US $33.8m by Treasury CS Ukur Yatani in the 2020/21 supplementary budget. This is after the government failed to secure a loan from China to actualize its initial SGR plan.
Other projects done to streamline rail transport include the rehabilitation of the Nairobi Commuter trains along with commissioning of Diesel Mobile Units (DMUs) by President Uhuru Kenyatta.