The rehabilitation of the 78KM Gilgil to Nyahururu MGR line kicked off in earnest after the commissioning of the works by Nyandarua Governor His Excellency Francis Kimemia and the Kenya Railways Managing Director Mr. Philip Mainga.
The scope of works on the line entails clearing of the line’s corridor, rebuilding the drainage channels along the line, restoring the culverts and strengthening the line. The works will be executed in collaboration with the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and the National Youth Service (NYS) and is expected to take a period of 4 months.
About 400 youths from Nyandarua County through the Kazi Mtaani initiative will be engaged to participate in the clearing of the corridor. So far, the Corporation has deployed over 20 technical supervisors to complement the casuals on the ground with rail expert knowledge.
Speaking at the event, Kenya Railways Managing Director Mr. Philip Mainga said that the Corporation is committed in engaging in transformational projects throughout the country.
“The railway is a critical infrastructure a developing nation and with the current governmental projects taking place all over the country at a rapid pace, there is need to put in place transport systems that will match the demand that is expected with the expansion. This is why the Government of H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta has instructed that the entire railway system in the country be rehabilitated to working order. This will introduce an additional transport option in addition to roads. The overall impact will be boosting trade and enhancing the lives of Kenyans,” he said.
On his part, the Nyandarua County Governor reminisced on the role that was played by the Railway line during its heydays. He expressed his delight in the efforts to rehabilitate the line.
“Long ago, this railway line used to transport products from this area to the rest of the country. Pyrethrum was transferred to the factories in industrial area in Nairobi where it was a critical input for manufacturing insecticides. Also there was a time we would transport building stones to Nyanza and the Western region. Those were the good days where transport was easy and safe. With today’s commissioning we are beginning the journey to enjoying the services again,” he said.
Other sections of the Metre Gauge Railway line under rehabilitation are the Longonot to Malaba section and the Nakuru to Kisumu section. The Thika- Nanyuki is currently undergoing tests in readiness for its official commissioning.
The ongoing rehabilitation initiatives will be in operation early 2021.