Home | News    Wednesday 13 October 2004

Electricity will power Kenya-Sudan railway


By Alari Alare

Oct 12, 2004 (LiquidAfrica) — The proposed Sh320 billion-railway project linking Kenya to Southern Sudan will be powered by electricity.

The German investors, Thormhlen Schweibchnik AG, plans to construct a modernized electrical railway line at an estimated cost of Sh320 billion.

The investment will also involve Kenya, Uganda and the southern Sudan governments.

It is estimated to take five years to complete the multi-billion shilling project.

The railway line will pass through Rongai, Lake Baringo, Lokichar, Lodwar and on to Juba, while the other line will be from Juba to Gulu in Uganda.

Both passenger and cargo trains will use the line that crosses the Nile and Turkwel rivers using modern bridges.

The German investors told Roads Minister Raila Odinga that they will adopt a European model or Standard gauge line which is expected to be cheaper and will help minimize the duration of transit due to fast speed of between 160-180 km/h.

"The high speed railway will realised using European standard gauge... it is the most ideal system," said Klaus Thormahen, the Thormhlen Schweibchnik AG head.

Standard Gauge is the distance between the rails of a track; measured from inside edge to inside edge of the railhead.

It is 4 foot 81⁄2 inches (or 1,435mm). Anything wider is referred to as broad gauge, and anything narrower as narrow gauge.

The investors have also recommended the need to maintain and upgrade the existing railway line to accept new traffic. According to Thormahen, the idea is to move high-level goods, adopt good trains and wagons at low prices.

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