Inside Kenya Railways Ksh8 Billion Warchest to Revamp Transport

  • Police officers at a Kenya Railways terminal
    Police officers at a Kenya Railways terminal.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has continued with its strategy to pump funding into Kenya Railways as it seeks to create an elaborate railway network in the country

    In President Kenyatta’s draft budget for the year 2021/22, Kenya Railways has been allocated a Ksh8 billion financial war chest.

    The money will be channeled through the Ministry of Transport which has been given an additional Ksh 11 billion from the previous year. 

    PresientUhuru Kenyatta at the Nairobi Central Railway Station on November 10, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Nairobi Central Railway Station on November 10, 2020.

    Treasury CS Ukur Yattani has allocated Ksh2 billion for the Nairobi Commuter Rail Service project (NCRS).

    The development of the commuter rail is part of the Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Master Plan. 

    The project aims to carry out modernization and expansion of underutilized railway transport infrastructure facilities within Nairobi in order to attract passenger traffic from the roads thereby reducing congestion and creating an efficient and affordable mass rapid transit transport system for the city. 

    Kenya Railways will also get Ksh2.7 billion for the construction of the Naivasha Internal Container Depot - Longonot Railway link and an extra Ksh1 billion for rehabilitation of the Longonot - Malaba metre gauge railway. 

    Another Ksh 2 billion will go to the railway development levy kitty that is used to repay the Standard Gauge Railway loan.

    Kenya Railways will also rehabilitate locomotives after the allocation of Ksh1.35 billion.

    The construction of the SGR has improved passenger and cargo transport activities with most businesses currently transporting their cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi and Naivasha via the SGR reducing congestion on the roads

    As of August 2020, Madaraka Express had ferried about 9.9 million cargo tonnage and 4.3 million passengers. This has also led to increased economic activities in other towns in the Rift Valley region such as Naivasha, Mai Mahiu, Ongata Rongai, Ngong and Suswa. Meter Gauge Railway.

    The government has been rehabilitating the old meter-gauge railway to improve interconnectivity and transport across the country.

    Kenya Railways train at Nairobi Railways Club

    Some of the meter gauge railways that the government has been rehabilitating are the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway to pave way for cheaper fuel and the 216 Km Naivasha - Kisumu railway line that will connect to the recently refurbished Kisumu port to enable ferrying of passengers and goods such as fertilizer, cement, rice, edible oil, and spare parts, among others to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo on ships via Lake Victoria. 

    The overhaul of the Naivasha – Kisumu railway is being spearheaded by a multi-agency team coordinated by the Kenya Defense Forces.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta aboard one of the new trains on November 10, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta aboard one of the new trains on November 10, 2020.