Kenya: Govt to Spend Close to a Billion U.S. Dollars on New Trains, Railway Overhaul

The government has reportedly announced plans to invest about U.S.$731 million to revamp the Nairobi-Mombasa standard gauge railway (SGR), build new sidings, and buy more locomotives and wagons in the next three years.

The government hopes the country’s most expensive piece of infrastructure will help to grow the economy and improve the standard of living for Kenyans.

A report by the National Treasury shows that the country’s transport ministry will receive an additional U.S.$714.7 million for the “Development of Standard Gauge Railway” between July 2023 and June 2026. This decision will boost the total spending on the SGR project to over U.S.$5.7 billion by June 2026, reports revealed.

The rest of the funds, which have been allocated under the “Mombasa to Nairobi SGR” will largely be used to build new feeder lines and rehabilitate the old metre gauge railway (MGR) lines, reports The East AfricanCharged at the rate of 2%, the Railway Development Fund (RDF) is reportedly levied on all goods imported into the country for home use.

The East African further reports that, in the next 12 months, the government will also build a new 2.8-kilometre Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) link from Mombasa SGR Terminus to Mombasa MGR station at a cost of U.S.$18.29 million. These funds will also be used to construct a railway bridge across the Makupa causeway that links Mombasa Island to the Kenyan mainland.

Budget allocation

U.S.$11.7 million – New Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) line linking the Naivasha Inland Container Depot to the existing Longonot Railway Station

U.S.$2.93 million –  Construction of a Railway Metro Line connecting Athi River Station to the East African Portland Cement