Rehabilitation of the railway line from Nanyuki to Naromoru including clearing of bushes along the way is complete. The next phase between Naromoru and Chaka will be complete in one week, Kenya Railways (KR) MD Phillip Mainga has confirmed.
Mainga said this during a briefing to Governors under the Central Region Economic Bloc (CEREB) on the progress of the Thika – Nanyuki railway line rehabilitation project. The National Government is rehabilitating the railway line at a cost of Kshs. 3 billion. Kenya Railways has already released Kshs. 1 billion for the rehabilitation of the 178-kilometre long railway line.
The railway line when complete is expected to boost agriculture activities in the region as farmers will be able to transport their products in a reliable and affordable means Traders dealing in agricultural produce are also expected to increase upon completion of the railway line, in turn, improving the economy of the counties. It is also expected to be transporting VIVO petroleum products to Nanyuki among other goods.
Passenger services are also expected to resume from 1st July 2020 targeting 20,000 passengers per day. KR is relying on over 700 youths from the National Youth Service for labour. A total of six locomotives have already been procured with two for passengers and six for cargo. Six counties Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Laikipia, Nyandarua and Isiolo are to benefit from the railway line once complete. Railway stations in Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Laikipia are set to be rehabilitated while a new one will be built at Chaka trading centre where the National government is also building a market.
The meeting was attended by Governors Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), Ann Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Nderitu Muriithi (Laikipia), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) and Kiraitu Murungi (Meru).
The Governors also proposed the linking up of the line with the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia-transport corridor to open up trade with Northern Kenya and neighbouring countries.
New Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (New KPCU) Chairman Henry Kinyua also attended the meeting where he briefed the Governors about the Coffee Cherry Revolving Fund.