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Kenya seeks to attract transit cargo destined to Ethiopia

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In 2020, the Kenya Railway Corporation completed the refurbishment of the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway, a 240Km. metre gauge railway built during the British colonial era. This line was completed in 1930 as a branch of the Kenya-Uganda Railway, the old railway line connecting port of Mombasa to Kisumu (then known as Port Florence, which was part of Uganda at the time), but after a few decades became dilapidated because of lack of maintenance. The Kenyan government recently revealed plans to build a cargo yard in Nanyuki that will serve as a consolidation and multimodal transfer point for cargo destined to landlocked Ethiopia.

Once arrived at the port of Mombasa, cargo will be transported via the SGR (Standard Gauge Railway) to the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi to be transferred to Nanyuki via the refurbished railway stretch. From here, shipments will be loaded on trucks for delivery to Ethiopia via the Moyale border post.

The Nairobi-Nanyuki railway is a vital link to the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor, a strategic multimodal route that will increase connectivity between Kenya and Ethiopia reducing the reliance of the latter on the Djibouti port (read our post).

The rehabilitation of the Nanyuki railway stretch is also expected to spur the growth of economic activities in northern and Mt Kenya regions that will benefit from this railway for transport of products like coffee and tea destined for export to the Port of Mombasa.




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