PUBLISHED ON January 19th, 2015

Railway materials arrive, laying could start on Monday

The first consignment of materials for the construction of the standard gauge railway have arrived in Kenya.

About 3,000 pieces of rail weighing 4,000 tonnes, arrived at the Mombasa port from China on Friday.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and his Transport and Infrastructure counterpart, Mr Michael Kamau, witnessed the offloading. The two also signed a Sh25 billion loan from the government of Japan for the construction of a second container terminal at the port.

Mr Kamau said each of the 25-metre pieces of rail would be taken to Changamwe where they would be moved to Mtito Andei for laying, which could start on Monday.

“By witnessing this off-loading, we are telling the media and skeptics of the project that we mean business,” added Mr Kamau.

The project is supposed to take four years to complete, but Mr Kamau said the ministry would push the contractor to finish the job in three years.

“If you are not aware, we have been forced to redesign the initial standard gauge railway work to accommodate difficult terrain and compensation cost of the project,” he added.

Mr Kamau expressed hope that revamping of Rift Valley Railways with the purchase of new engines would help decongest the port and enhance its performance.

He added that the completion of the 429-kilometre railway project would open up not only the country’s hinterland but also the entire East African region.

“This (railway) is also being supplemented by the construction of the Mwatate-Taveta road that would connect Kenya to the rich Kilimanjaro region, in Tanzania,” he said adding that the road would help shorten the route to Rwanda.

Source: Daily Nation

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