NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 28 – Kenya Railways is refurbishing 31 locomotives to increase capacity in preparation for operations along the Longonot – Malaba Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) section and the Nakuru-Kisumu MGR branch line which are currently under rehabilitation.
Among the 31 locomotives, 9 are being rehabilitated and 22 others are undergoing an overhaul under the partnership between Kenya Railways and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).
Speaking during a tour to inspect the progress of the locomotive refurbishing at the Nairobi Central Workshops, Industrial & Commercial Development
Corporation (ICDC) Chairman John Ngumi, who is in charge of the Kenya
Transport and Logistics Network (KTLN) affirmed the Government’s commitment to optimizing cargo movement through efficient railway network.
This is in line with the ICDC’s mandate of overseeing the implementation of the
KTLN Framework Agreement jointly signed last year by Kenya Railways
Corporation (KRC), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), and Kenya Pipeline Company
(KPC) Limited, to ensure the Networks objectives are achieved.
“I’m impressed with the progress of the refurbishment of these locomotives
which would have otherwise been decommissioned. Once complete, the
additional locomotives and with the rehabilitation of the 465Km Longonot –
Malaba MGR Line and the 216.7km long Nakuru – Kisumu MGR Branch Line,
we will have reached an important milestone in our rail infrastructure
development that will now see efficient and timely movement of goods connecting the Port of Mombasa to the Industrial parks in Naivasha and beyond
to other economic hubs across the country,” he said.
The rehabilitation of Longonot – Malaba MGR section and Nakuru-Kisumu MGR
branch line that are 25.1% and 60% complete respectively, is viewed as critical to expanding trade across the East African region and is estimated to
significantly reduce transport and logistics costs.
The new 23.5km MGR link between Naivasha ICD and Longonot MGR Station
that commenced in October 2020 is also 52.5% complete and is expected to be
fully operational in September 2021 enabling effective utilization of the Naivasha ICD and improve freight transportation to Western Kenya and neighboring East African countries.
“Indeed, we project to transport 2.45 million and 8.5million tons of cargo by 2022 via MGR and SGR respectively. “Ngumi added.
The Kenya Railways Chairman, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Pastor Awitta added the Nairobi
Central Workshop which is also undergoing a facelift, is very instrumental in production of spare parts for machinery and infrastructure for the three KTLN entities; Kenya Railways, Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Pipeline. This will in turn save the entities costs and time incurred during acquisition from external sources.
Currently, the workshop undertakes manufacturing, rehabilitation and
maintenance of locomotives, wagons and passenger coaches.