Kenya Railways is refurbishing 31 locomotives to increase capacity of fleets along the Longonot- Malaba Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) section and the Nakuru-Kisumu MGR branch line, which are currently under rehabilitation.
Speaking on Wednesday during an inspection of the locomotive refurbishing process at the Nairobi Central Workshop in Nairobi, the Chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) John Ngumi, affirmed the government’s commitment to optimize cargo movement through an efficient railway network.
Ngumi said the project is expected to hasten transportation time in the region that majorly relies on the road network.
Ngumi, at the same time disclosed that the giant’ entities that include the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are working in collaboration to come up with a long lasting solution that will deliver cargo to importers on time and at a lower cost.
“If we can make these entities work effectively, there will be no need for the government to borrow funds to construct a railway, as it can get dividends from pipeline to undertake the works,” said Ngumi. “Instead of buying new locomotives as a country we can do with whatever we have by making it work better” he added.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Board of Directors Kenya Railways Corporation, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Pastor Umudho Awitta said that the government and Kenya Railways have commenced the rehabilitation of the old rail system, which started with the Thika- Nanyuki rail line which is currently operational. Other rail systems under rehabilitation are Longonot- Malaba and Nakuru-Kisumu.
However, Awitta noted that the Kisumu line which is currently undergoing rehabilitation will be ready by June this year.
“If the Port is working efficiently we can get the cargo out of the ships, and this requires that Kenya Railways must be efficient to get these cargoes to all towns in Kenya and the neighbouring countries” Awitta said.
He said the Corporation had embarked on the rehabilitation programme to enable it move the cargoes to the importers without delay.
The rehabilitation work is in line with the government’s agenda of having efficient communication network that saw the government last year set up the Kenya Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN) which brings together KPA, Kenya Railways, and Kenya Pipeline under the coordination of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).
Present at the inspection were Engineer Martin Mumo and Judith Awuor, a Lab Technician at Kenya Railway among others.
By Hamdi Mohamud