Kenya Railways has now turned attention to the Longonot-Malaba line as the government’s ambitious program to restore the country’s rail transportation gathers more pace – -By News Agencies.
Munyes, who toured one of the rail line’s anchor clients, Vivo Energy Company facility in Nanyuki, said the railway will offer a safer way of transporting petroleum products to the Mt Kenya region and the northern counties of Kenya.
He added that transportation of petroleum via the railway will greatly minimise cases of fuel adulteration common when the product is transported by road.
“We have had cases of neighbouring countries complaining that fuel transported through Kenyan roads is adulterated, but if we can restrict ourselves to transporting fuel via pipeline or railway, it means security of our products is achieved,” he said.
PS Kaberia termed the revival of the railway line a great milestone that will boost the agricultural potential of Mt Kenya, adding that the mining sector is likewise set to reap big as the train can be used to ferry bulk mineral deposits to processors easily. Iron ore and manganese that have recently been discovered in this region will be easily exploited and transported by use of this railway the same way the petroleum sector is set to benefit,” he said.
And with resuscitation of the Mt Kenya line complete, the agency has turned its focus west to the Longonot-Malaba metre-gauge railway, whose rehabilitation is expected to take eight months.
Addressing residents at Tumeiyo and Kipkabus Railway stations in Elgeyo Marakwet county, Regional Operations manager Christopher Andimu regretted that the 30-metre corridor on each side of the line is now full of farmland and kiosks.
“Roads passing along the railway line will be moved to the edge of the corridor while those illegally crossing the line will require to be regularised and upgraded to required standards,” he said, and expressed concern over cases of vandalism along the railway line.
The County Commissioner said the rehabilitation of the railway will also revive many towns along the line whose economies were devastated by collapse of rail transport.