Kenya Railways invited fresh bids for a new railway to run between its port city Mombasa and the Ugandan capital Kampala, that will treble train speeds and boost regional trade, after previous bids were too high for its budget.
The railway, which should be operational within three years, is expected to carry 10 times as much freight.
In a statement in regional weekly the East African, Kenya Railways said it was inviting proposals for preliminary design and environmental and social assessment services for the section of the railway between Mombasa and Malaba at the Kenyan border.
The Ugandan government will handle tendering for its stretch of the railway.
The railway, which will run on a standard gauge, is meant to supplement an existing metre gauge railway which was built by the British at the turn of the previous century.
The government says Mombasa’s port handles more than 16 million tons of cargo annually and this was forecast to rise to 30 million tons by 2030.
Currently, most cargo travels from Mombasa by road to Uganda, south Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.
The main highway from Mombasa to Kenya’s capital Nairobi and onto Kampala is clogged with heavily-laden lorries, many carrying a single container.
“It is envisaged that the railway line will be extended to Uganda and the Great Lakes Region,” Kenya Railways said in its statement. (Reuters)