Railway revival to boost counties economy

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Kenya Railway Corporation Managing Director Philip Mainga addresses Ol Kalou town residents in Nyandarua County when he toured the county to preside over the commissioning of renovation works of the 78 kilometers railway line connecting Gilgil – Nyahururu town.
Photo by Jesse Mwitwa, KNA. 

Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia has applauded the commencement of the long awaited rehabilitation of the 78 kilometers railway line connecting Gilgil – Nyahururu town noting it was a major boost to the economy of the region.

According to the Governor, rehabilitation of the meter gauge railway line connecting Nakuru, Nyandarua and Laikipia counties would enable bulk transportation of agricultural produce to other counties with ease and at a fair price.

Kimemia who was joined by Kenya Railway Corporation Managing Director Philip Mainga, Nakuru deputy governor Dr. Eric Korir and Laikipia Roads and Infrastructure Executive Joseph Shuel while commissioning its renovation works at Ol Kalou in Nyandarua County added that the line was expected to be linked to Naivasha dry port.

This, he said would help in spurring economic growth in tourism, agriculture, sports, trade and other sectors across the counties.

“We have identified that transport and connectivity is crucial in placing the region as a key player in national and even regional social-economic maps through improved movement of goods, services and people,” he said.

“Our potato and vegetable products will no longer rot in the farms as it has been happening. All we need is to drop them at the Ol Kalou station or Gilgil for them to be picked up and transported to Nairobi, Mombasa and other counties for market,” said Kimemia.

On his part, Mainga said that the Corporation was committed in engaging in transformative projects throughout the country.

“The scope of work on this line entails clearing the corridors, earthworks, bridgeworks, replacement of missing or broken parts, geometry correction and renovation of railway buildings,” he added, noting that the works would take four months to completion.

Shuel who represented Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi welcomed the project saying that the new development was a game changer for Laikipia and Samburu counties which relied on livestock production.

He said that railway was the mode of transport that they used in the past to transport livestock from Laikipia and Samburu.

“The mantle has now been handed over to us to make full use of the rail transport. We must now revive these sectors such as pyrethrum and wheat farming that were doing well in our counties back then,” said Dr. Korir.

The rehabilitation of the line comes 30 years after the railway line operations stopped and barely a month after the cooperation launched the railway line connecting Nairobi and Nanyuki.