CRA VISITS THE STANDARD GAUGE RAILWAY

Laying of a Beam IN Taru, Kwale County

Laying of a Beam in Taru, Kwale County

The Commission represented by commissioners Prof. Joseph Kimura, Meshack Onyango, Rose Osoro and CEO, George Ooko as well as James Katule, Jacqueline Marita and Jenniffer Nafula visited the standard gauge railway currently under construction. The team viewed various sites between Nairobi and Taru which is near Mombasa from 24th – 25th May 2016.

The purpose of the visit was to get information and understanding of the economic benefits of the standard gauge railway (SGR) as well as the areas where the SGR will pass through. The Commission will use this information to authoritatively advice and dialogue with counties on how they can utilise their railway so as to benefit and enhance their revenue sources by tapping in to the economic potential that the SGR will offer.

During the opening meeting, the managing director Atanas Maina stated that the SGR is expected to increase efficiency in the evacuation of cargo from the port as 216 containers that are double stacked each 20ft long will be leaving the port. “This is equivalent to 108 tracks leaving the port of Mombasa,” Mr. Maina stated.

The project has so far created jobs for 17,600 employees stationed at the head and branch offices and construction sites. The project is expected to be completed and commissioned in June 2017. Other benefits of the SGR are growth of local industries that supply the construction of the SGR with materials such as cement, sand and gravel. Mr. Atanas further indicated that land acquisition had been the major challenge for the SGR project.

The CRA delegation stated that counties need to develop ways of tapping in to the opportunities that SGR will offer once it becomes operational. Counties further need to realign their strategic plans to identify ways to gain from the project to ensure they benefit economically.

Kathekani T-Beam Girder and Rail Sleeper Factory, Makueni County.

Kathekani T-Beam Girder and Rail Sleeper Factory, Makueni County.

FACTS ABOUT THE SGR

  1. The route length of the first phase (Mombasa to Nairobi) of the SGR is 472 kilometres.
  2. Phase 2 which is 490km will cover Nairobi – Kisumu – Malaba. It is divided into:
    1. Phase 2A (120km) Nairobi – Naivasha.
    2. Phase 2B (262 km) Naivasha – Narok – Bomet – Nyamira – Kisumu (includes new Kisumu Port).
    3. Phace 2C ( 107 km) Kisumu – Yala – Mumias – Malaba.
  3. The total cost of phase 1 of the project is ksh 327 billion.
  4. It is envisaged that the project will be ready for commissioning in June 2017.
  5. The standard gauge railway means the width of the track is 1435 mm (millimetres). The old railway was 1000mm and is also referred to as metre gauge.
  6. The design line of the railway is 100 years and this can go up to 200 years.
  7. The train will carry 960 passengers and will travel at speeds of 120 Kph. It will cover the distance between Mombasa and Nairobi in four and a half hours. Freight speed will be 80Kph.
  8. The SGR is expected to evacuate 216 containers each 20ft long. This is equivalent to 108 tracks leaving the port of Mombasa.
  9. Phase 1 of the SGR passes through the counties of Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita-Taveta, Makueni, Kajiado, Machakos and Nairobi.