Kenya launches first new railway in a century
Kenya has replaced the over a century railway line with a new state of the art standard gauge railway which will ease transport and boost trade across the region.
The first cargo trains were flagged off by Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta at the coastal town of Mombasa.
The onset of the operation of the most outstanding of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s flagship projects heralds a new dawn for Kenya, the gateway to the East and Central African region.
With the unveiling of the new Railway’s cargo operations in Mombasa this afternoon, Kenyans and the more than the 300 million residents of the region are set to reap the benefits of efficient transportation of cargo.
President Kenyatta waved a giant Kenyan flag to flag off the inaugural cargo train of the SGR shortly after 6.00 pm, at Port Reitz in Mombasa, marking a new era where cargo will be moved twice as fast and at a cheaper price.
The ceremony was witnessed by thousands of Kenyans together with delegations and representatives from across the world.
It took the government two and half years – less than the originally given time and less than the original budget – to accomplish the task of constructing 472 kilometres of the SGR from the port city of Mombasa to the capital city of Nairobi in the country’s interior.
The Government has already embarked on extending the SGR to Naivasha then to Kisumu and eventually plans to have the system extended to Kampala and Kigali in Uganda and Rwanda respectively.
President Kenyatta, who was flanked by Deputy President William Ruto and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, said every Kenyan should be proud of the Standard Gauge Railway.
“I call upon all Kenyans whatever their political beliefs to celebrate, today we should be together holding hands in celebrations,” said the President.
“This is the Kenya we seek and this is the Kenya we want our children to inherit from us and their children to inherit from them,” said President Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta said the SGR will make the port of Mombasa more efficient and will enhance the performance of the facility where the Jubilee Government has invested more than Sh60 billion in the last four years.
“The foundations we lay today will lead us to a new chapter of industrialisation,” said the President as he promised to fast track the establishment of Special Economic Zones along the SGR.