The National Assembly Public Investment Committee is confident that once completed, the Standard Gauge Railway will positively impact the local business community.
“This project is a vital infrastructural project for this country; we expect many offshoot businesses to sprout from the line once it goes live. Already, the centers around the route are abuzz with business activities”.
Mr Keynan spoke as the committee conducted a site visit along the 472 kilometres Standard Gauge Railway, to finalize on a report that will provide a project update to the national assembly.
Other members of the watchdog committee who visited the various sites along the line included nominated MP Oburu Odinga, Kimilili MP Chris Wamalwa,Funyula MP Paul Otwoma, Kisumu West MP Olago Oluoch, Chuka MP Onesmus Njuki and Mary Otara and Beatrice Nyaga Women Rep from Kisii and Tharaka Nithi County respectively.
Commending the SGR team for the job well done, Funyula MP Paul Otwoma asked the county governments along the line to embrace the business opportunities and empower the local communities establish small scale businesses that will feed the entire ecosystem once the line starts operating.
“Once SGR starts running, the workers maintaining the line will need to feed and live along the lines, we should not let this opportunities slide away, we need to have landlords and food vendors from Changamwe all the way to Syokimau”.
Apart from inspecting theTsavo River Super Bridge, the team also visited the Athi River Bridge, the Simba station at Voi, Emali T-Beam Girder and Rail Sleeper Factory
Once completed, the modern, high capacity Standard Gauge Railway will carry a trailing load of 4,000 tonnes on each train. This is expected to raise Kenya’s total economic production by at least 1.5 per cent.
The government has already procured trains for the new line. The high speed locomotives will be able to pull double stacked containers for cargo while passenger wagons will span up to 700m in length carrying 1000 passengers.
The freight terminals will be located at the Mombasa Port Station and the Inland Container Depots at Embakasi in Nairobi. The railway line is designed to carry 22 million tonnes of cargo in a year, or a projected 40 per cent of Mombasa Port throughput by 2035.