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Rail transport in Kenya

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Title: Rail transport in Kenya  
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Subject: Rail transport in South Sudan, Rail transport in Tanzania, East African Railway Master Plan, Economy of Kenya, Uganda Railways Corporation
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Rail transport in Kenya

The former Uganda Railway, was run by the company East African Railways jointly for the countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya after World War I. Since the dissolution of the EAR corporation in 1977 the national company Kenya Railways Corporation runs the former Uganda Railway and its branches in Kenya. The most important line in the country runs between the port of Mombasa and Nairobi, where sleeping car accommodation is offered for tourists.

In 2006, the Rift Valley Railways Consortium led by South African companies took operating control of the Kenya and Uganda railways as part of a contract lasting at least 25 years. After criticism from the Kenya Railways Corporation, RVR doubled the frequency of service, and also imposed restrictions to reduce derailments on the ageing infrastructure.[1]

RVR run passenger trains within Kenya only, primarily from Nairobi to Mombasa but also to local towns such as Kisumu. Passenger services on these lines are offered on peak periods only. Freight services are the bulk of RVR's operations.

Operational Track

Total: 2,778 km (1,726 mi)

Narrow gauge: 2,778 km 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge

Railway links with adjacent countries

  • Ethiopia – no – same 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge
  • Somalia – no railways
  • South Sudan – no – proposed link to Juba (2005) break-of-gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)/1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  • Tanzania – same 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge – maybe defunct
  • Uganda – yes – same gauge – 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)


Gauge change

In May 2008, debate about gauge change in Kenya to the world standard ("standard gauge") of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) became lively.

East African Railway Master Plan:


  • In 2008, agreements were made with Uganda about gauge standardisation.[13]
  • In 2015, construction of new standard gauge lines were well underway. [14]


  • Map: UN Map

Cities served by rail

See also



  1. ^ Restrictions
  2. ^
  3. ^ Loco 2927 shows chopper couplings and thin air brake hoses
  4. ^ Kenya: Century-Old Rail System Needs Sh80 Billion Upgrade (Page 1 of 1)
  5. ^ | Daily Nation | BUSINESS |
  6. ^ Full Coverage Kenya: Railway to Be Overhauled
  7. ^ EuropeArabBank
  8. ^ International Railway News: Kenya’s railroad to be overhauled
  9. ^ SudanTribune article : Sudanese rail project caught in muddle of Kenyan politics
  10. ^ Chirau A. Mwakwere, EGH, MP: Speech at KICC Nairobi, Kenya, October 2007
  11. ^ : 98.4 Capital FM News :
  12. ^ – Rwanda/Tanzania: East Africa’s first wide gauge railway line to be built
  13. ^
  14. ^

Further reading

External links

  • illustrated description of the Kenyan railways
  • Gallery

Media related to Rail transport in Kenya at Wikimedia Commons

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