Kenya Railways Sets Date for Kisumu-Butere Line Service Resumption

  • President Kenyatta flags off the Nairobi-Suswa SGR line on October 16, 2019.
    President Kenyatta flags off the Nairobi-Suswa SGR line on October 16, 2019.
    FILE
  • Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has finally set a date when services will resume on the rehabilitated Kisumu-Butere line.

    Speaking during an inspection tour in Kisumu on Wednesday, February 9, KRC operations manager Michael Disi revealed that the rehabilitation works that began in September 2021 are at 90 per cent.

    He further announced that the first train is expected to hit the rail in June 2022 carrying both passengers and cargo.

    The line is an extension of the meter gauge railway that has been revamped from Nakuru to Kisumu City Port and is expected to boost both the tourism and transport sector in the area.

    A file image of the revamped train at the Nakuru Railway Station enroute the Kisumu Railway Station
    A file image of the revamped train at the Nakuru Railway Station enroute the Kisumu Railway Station
    Capital Group

    According to government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna, the project is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta's plan to expand infrastructure projects in the Western region.

    "I want us to consider it very broadly in line with beyond transporting cargo and passengers but other sectors of the economy that can be opened up by launching this other different model of transportation," Oguna noted after inspecting the project.

    The line which has been under active rehabilitation goes through Kisian, Lela, Maseno, Luanda, Yala, and Namasoli trading centers.

    Upon completion, the refurbished line will ease the movement of cargo and passengers from Mombasa all the way to Butere. The prices for trains are also set to be subsidized.

    According to the KRC operations manager, those using the line will have an opportunity to enjoy both the old Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) and Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). 

    “One of the exciting parts is that we are going to have an interconnection between Standard Gauge Railway and Metre Gauge Railway at Naivasha. This will allow seamless movement of cargo from Mombasa to the East African region without having to transport it on road within the next two months,” stated KRC Managing Director Philip Mainga in the past inspection tour.

    In preparation for the resumption of services, a new Kisumu passenger railway station has been constructed with provision for parking which integrates the travellers with roads and other modes of transport.

    Those traveling but drive in with their cars would be allowed to park at a fee. In Syokimau SGR station, small cars pay Ksh100 for a day to access the station.

    The Kisumu station has approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space aimed at enhancing commuters' experience and also promoting local businesses.

    Kisumu Railway Station
    Image of Kisumu Railway Station: KENYA RAILWAYS