Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen has directed Kenya Railways to increase the number of trains to Kisumu during the festive season.
According to Murkomen, the number of trains should be increased from December 21, 2022, to January 3, 2023, to meet the increasing demand occasioned by the festive season and ease pressure on the roads.
He made the remarks as he commissioned the Rail Mounted Gantry cranes, expected to ease the loading and offloading of containers from trailers to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) trains and vice versa.
"I have instructed the Kenya Railways to increase the number of trains to Kisumu from December 21 to January 3 to meet the increasing demand occasioned by the festive season and ease pressure on our roads,” Murkomen said.
The CS added that the government was keen to develop the Naivasha Inland Container Depot to handle goods destined for various destinations in the country and the region.
“We are keen to utilise rail transport which is fast, safe, and cheaper so as to enhance transportation of goods and people. We will also be working to restore passenger trains along the old MGR routes,” he added.
Similarly, he stated that the government would increase the number of wagons and coaches, which, together with the old wagons and coaches that are currently being revamped at the Nairobi workshops, will increase capacity for passenger transportation.
Currently, Murkomen said the SGR is connected to the MGR in Naivasha thus making it easier to carry goods to Malaba.
"In the long run, we would like to complete the connection of the SGR from Suswa to Kisumu through Bomet, Nyamira, parts of Kisii and later to Malaba; Later, we can think of upgrading the existing MGR via Nakuru to Kisumu and via Eldoret to Malaba,” he added.
Murkomen yesterday travelled from the Nairobi Railway Terminal to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot via the SGR passenger train, accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian.
"Kenya appreciates the good working relationship between the two countries whose signature is the SGR among other infrastructure projects,” he stated.
He said the government was inviting investors to develop and run a new railway corridor from Lamu to Moyale, Garissa, and South Sudan through Turkana.
This will make Kenya a very competitive country and enhance the ease of doing business.