Terminating the standard gauge railway in Kisumu – will boost local economy

Kenya is currently considering terminating the standard gauge railway (SGR) in Naivasha or Kisumu. Rwanda stated at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa, recently held in Kigali, that the proposed standard-gauge rail is cheaper and shorter through Tanzania. Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda in 2013 agreed to construct a rail link to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

Terminating the line in Kisumu, could be a major boast for the local economy, and turn the Lake Victoria port city into a container trade hub with its East African neighbours. Lake Victoria ferries operate to Mwanza and Bukoba in Tanzania, and to Entebbe, Port Bell, and Jinja in Uganda.

The narrow gauge Uganda Railway, currently provides Kisumu’s rail link with Mombasa. However, there is no passenger trains on the line, as the service was suspended in 2013. Increase trade could also benefit logistics and trucking companies. The East African reported, that “logistics firms are acquiring new trucks in anticipation of increased business once the new railway line is complete.”

Kisumu is not part of the major artery of the Northern Corridor, but a branch runs from Nakuru to Kisumu, which links wagon ferries to Port Bell in Kampala.The Lake Victoria port city is the third largest city in Kenya, and the second most important city after Kampala, in the greater Lake Victoria Basin.