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New lifeline as Cargo train rolls back to Thika.

There is a great ray of hope as cargo trains start rolling back to Thika after 10 years of waiting.

This is sweet music to most industrialists who are poised to take advantage of the new developments to transport bulky goods.

The ongoing rehabilitation of the 178-kilometer Thika-Nanyuki Meter Gauge Railway is at a very advanced stage and at least six manufacturers have started utilising this mode of transport. Twelve more companies from the vast Mt Kenya region have also expressed interest to take advantage of the railway services.

Among the companies currently enjoying these services, is Del Monte Kenya Limited which has been transporting at least 2,400 tonnes of cargo weekly to the port of Mombasa.

According to the company production director Wayne Cook, the firm started using rail transport after the meter gauge railway was refurbished.

In 12 hours, the company is able to move its goods from the factory in Thika to Mombasa using the rail.

Cook notes that unlike when they were transporting their cargo by road, the rail transition is more efficient and saves a lot of time.

The Officer in-charge of operations at Kenya Railways Corporation James Siele says that with rehabilitation of this railway line was over 80% complete with already six locomotives already procured; 2 for passengers and 6 for cargo.

The corporation has also embarked on revival of all stations in Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Laikipia counties to spur economic development in the entire central region.

Even with the infrastructural upgrade of roads in the region such as the dual-carriage way between Kenol and Nanyuki, Siele insisted that the return of cargo train would be economically viable as it would complement the other modes of transport.

He revealed that re-introduction of the commuter train targeting about 20,000 passengers per day from July 1, 2020 when rehabilitation of the Sh. 3 billion project will be complete.

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