The locomotives and shunters for the Standard Gauge Railway arrived in the country on the 10th January 2017. The Standard Gauge railway, which is poised to revolutionize the country transport sector, is 80% complete.
The project was started 3 years ago to link Mombasa and Malaba. The railway is being done in two phases: Mombasa –Nairobi and Nairobi – Malaba.
While speaking during the launch, the Cabinet secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Mr. James Macharia stated that “This project is meant to ease traffic congestion at the Northern Corridor, which has been a great concern to the business community. So far, 472 km have been completed and the project is 18 months ahead of schedule. The railway line aims to connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, and will complement the slower narrower gauge operated by RIFT Valley Railway.”
The main purpose of the Standard Gauge railway is to reduce reliance on the road transport, reduce cost of transport and in turn reduce the cost of doing business. The SGR is the biggest infrastructure in Kenya since independence. It will shorten the passenger travel time from Mombasa to Nairobi from more than 10 hours to about 4 hours and complete the 609km journey in less than eight hours. The railway project has passed through 17 counties and this will spur a lot of economic and social growth.
The project has so far seen the creation of over 30,000 jobs for both laborers and permanent employees.
Once completed, the railway will be operated by a Chinese company for 5 years ,who will train Kenyans to operate, before handing over to Kenya. The capacity of the railway is 22 million tons per year. Apart from carrying cargo there will be a passenger service train that will run from Mombasa Changamwe to Nairobi Syokimau station
The KAM Coast chapter has two new members who are setting up their companies. Kilimanjaro biscuits are located at the Miritini Industrial Park. The official launching and operations will start in mid February. The management team led by Mr. Chauhan mentioned that they have had no major challenges in setting up the factory.
Top Steel Limited set and posed to be one of the large Steel manufacturers is in Kwale County on the Kinango Road, through Mariakani town. The company is set up on a remote area and it will spur economic growth of Kwale County, and offer employment to the young people. Top Steel manager Mr. Sharma said that the community has been very receptive and welcoming.
For more information contact: Susan.Gitau@kam.co.ke