Rift Valley Railways, the consortium that currently manages and controls the Kenya-Uganda railway, is currently seeking permission to recruit new shareholders as it tries to obtain adequate financing of their plans to upgrade and improve the costly and inefficient railway system.
The railway quickly became strategically and economically vital for Uganda and Kenya as it was the only modern means of transport from the East African coast to the African interior and plateaus. The railway served to transport tourists, locals, as well as goods for trade such as coffee and tea. Over a century later, the railway is still a vital part of the region's economy. The port of Mombasa, where the railway begins, was estimated to have handled more than 14.5 million tons of cargo annually and is expected to handle over 27 million tons of cargo per year by 2030. This demonstrates the significance of the railway in East African trade.
But years of neglect and mismanagement have rendered the railway to be very costly, inefficient, and sometimes dangerous to use. Today, transporting a 40-unit container wagon from Mombasa to the Malaba border post costs around $100,000 by rail. Moreover, it is reported that 1,500 containers cross the Ugandan border every week even though the railway should bring at least 10,000 containers. There are also several safety-related incidents, including one in 1999 when 32 passengers died from the derailment of the train because its brakes failed.
Many different companies have tried to manage the more ...
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