Rehabilitation of Metre Gauge Railway lines in Kenya to fall behind schedule

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The rehabilitation of 3 key metre-gauge railway lines in Kenya is likely to fall experience delays due to vandalism. According to Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) managing director Philip Mainga, works on the Nakuru-Kisumu, Gilgil- Nyahururu and Longonot –Malaba lines will delay by a few months as vandals carted away parts such a sleepers, nuts, and clips in the sections under repair.

Refurbishment works on the 216km Nakuru-Kisumu and the 78km Gilgil-Nyahururu lines started last August and were set to be completed in March 2021. Refurbishment of the 465km Longonot–Malaba line started last October. It was expected to be completed in September 30, 2021.

“It’s unfortunate that vandals have been coming behind our back to steal railway parts. We call upon the public to stop engaging in illegal activities along our railway line” said Mr. Mainga.

Nevertheless, the MD said that several people have been arrested in connection to vandalism of the multibillion-shilling projects. “A number of them, he said were charged with sabotage, destruction of infrastructure and engaging in organised criminal activities,” he added.

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Rehabilitation of Metre-Gauge Railway lines in Kenya

The Nakuru-Kisumu line will connect to the recently refurbished US $27.2m Kisumu port, which will enable ferrying of cargo and passengers to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo on ships via Lake Victoria.

Kenya dropped its plan to extend the standard gauge railway (SGR) to Kisumu and later on to the Ugandan border after failing to secure a multimillion-dollar loan from China, which funded the first and second phases of the project.

Rehabilitation on the 78km metre gauge railway line from Gilgil-Nyahururu that stated last August is currently being undertaken by KRC in collaboration with the Nyandarua County government and the local administration.