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In one year Mombasa-Kampala by train possible

SGR from Nairobi to Malaba, then to Uganda's capital

25-02-2021 by redazione

In a year's time, according to the plans of Uganda and Kenya, it will be possible to travel by fast train from Mombasa to Kampala in less than 24 hours. This is the agreement reached by the two countries, at different times and in different ways, with Chinese contractors.
As far as Kenya is concerned, the current Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line built by the Chinese is in operation for passengers and cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi, while the second section, from the Kenyan capital to the town of Naivasha, is operational for now only for goods trains, with the construction of the large railway yard. But in the meantime, last August work began on the SGR line from Mai Mahiu to Longonot, a sort of 'bypass' that will join the renewed railway line from Naivasha to the Ugandan border, in the town of Malaba.
This is where, according to what Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recently approved after his re-election, the new Malaba-Kampala railway will start, readjusted to the standard gauge to match the main rail services in East Africa.
The $400 million project will enable citizens and residents of both nations, as well as tourists, to travel from Kenya's coastal city to Uganda's historic capital.
The upgrading of the Kenyan portion from Naivasha to the Ugandan border has been earmarked by Treasury Minister Ukur Yattani in the 2020-21 supplementary budget, totalling $35 million, compared to the total commitment for the Mombasa-Nairobi section of about $450 million, funded 90% by the Beijing-based Exim Bank and 10% by the Kenyan government.
In a recent interview, Kenya Railways Corporation CEO Philip Mainga revealed that the new line to the Kenya-Uganda border will be completed by September 2021.
"Passenger operations from Mai Mahiu to Malaba via Longonot via a revamped standard gauge train for visitors from western parts of Kenya will be completed within that timeframe," he confirmed.
According to the Kenyan government's plans, goods trains on the Mai-Mahiu to Longonot line will start operating in June. The service would become important for the transportation of grain and fertiliser from the Rift Valley to western Kenya.
The SGR, which is designed to provide a globally competitive transport network for both freight and passengers, will specifically reduce the transit time from Kampala to Mombasa from four to six days to just one day.  The freight and passenger services will improve the economic viability of the SGR line by facilitating the movement of goods and passengers from the port of Mombasa to Uganda and neighbouring countries.

TAGS: treno kenyakenya ugandamombasa kampala

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