- Improved line has cut Mombasa-Nairobi transit times by 6 hours
NAIROBI, June, 2013 – Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the operator of the Kenya-Uganda railway, has completed the replacement of 73 kilometres of railway track between Mombasa and Nairobi at an investment cost of over 51 billion Ushs ($20 million). The development is projected to improve reliability and speed up the delivery of cargo by rail from Mombasa.
Completion of this railway modernization project has reduced cargo delivery time between Mombasa and Nairobi by six hours through rebuilding the most badly rundown sections that were responsible for 60 per cent of blockage time on the railway line.
“RVR’s over Ushs 51 billion investment in building this new stretch of railroad is a significant milestone as this railway line had been ailing for lack of investment for over a decade prior to the concession,” said RVR executive vice chairman Brown Ondego.
Construction of the new railway line included the laying of 10,000 sleepers to retain track geometry and improve safety. The upgrade is part of a larger railway track modernization programme that will see the rebuilding of over 360 kms of the most affected sections of the railroad in Kenya and Uganda.
“The completion of this project under our continuing track upgrading programme has considerably improved the reliability and efficiency of our operations. We are now operating larger-capacity trains and, as a result, have improved our loading capacity and reduced travel hours,” Ondego added.
The 10 month reconstruction project awarded contracts worth over Ushs 13 billion to Kenyan contractors and suppliers and paid over Ushs 873 million in wages to workers recruited from SMEs under a partnership programme with communities living along the railway line.
Commenting on the faster cargo delivery, Steve Felder, managing director of Maersk shipping agency, noted, “As a shipping line we very much welcome this development as we are convinced that it will effectively improve the safe and reliable transport of our customer’s cargo and create more demand for rail transport between Mombasa and Nairobi”.
Ondego said RVR is on course with significant investments to introduce innovations in operations and modernize infrastructure both in Kenya and Uganda in order to ensure a dependable and well-functioning railway that can spur growth and regional economic integration throughout East Africa.
He said improved reliability has been one of the immediate benefits and the number of incidents declined a full 20 per cent last month.