Kenya Railways repairs 31 locomotives for western travellers, cargo


A Kenya Railways train on the Nanyuki-Nairobi metre gauge rail. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

Kenya Railways is refurbishing 31 locomotives that will be used to ferry passengers and cargo along the revamped century-old Longonot-Malaba and Nakuru-Kisumu meter gauge lines.

Nine are being rehabilitated while 22 others are undergoing an overhaul in a partnership between Kenya Railways and Kenya Defence Forces.

The Longonot-Malaba old metered gauge line linked to the standard gauge railway is expected to facilitate seamless movement of cargo from the Mombasa port to Lake Victoria in Kisumu and Malaba, the border point with Uganda.

“I’m impressed with the progress of the refurbishment of these locomotives, which would have otherwise been decommissioned,” said Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation chairman John Ngumi in a statement yesterday.

He said rehabilitation of the 465-kilometre Longonot-Malaba meter gauge is 25 per cent complete. The new 23.5km rail link between Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICD) and Longonot that started last October is 52.5 per cent complete.

The railway upgrade once complete will facilitate freight services from Naivasha ICD to Uganda and DR-Congo.