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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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It would be useful if Ondus had quoted the populations of the above-mentioned cities.

Seoul, Moscow, Tokyo, London, New York, [Mexico] and Paris are all 10m plus.

Nairobi is only 3m according to Wiki.

Sydney is about 5m and has only a small amount of underground rail.
- awsgc24

Auckland has a population of under 2m but is planning an underground railway so the Idea of one for Nairobi should perhaps not be dismissed.
 
awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Auckland has a population of under 2m but is planning an underground railway so the Idea of one for Nairobi should perhaps not be dismissed.
- wanderer53

It would depend on whether the new line in Auckland is totally or partially underground.

In Nairobi, a lot of railway land is probably squatted on, so undergrounding, even on a cut-and-cover basis would reduce disruption to those squatters.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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It would depend on whether the new line in Auckland is totally or partially underground.

In Nairobi, a lot of railway land is probably squatted on, so undergrounding, even on a cut-and-cover basis would reduce disruption to those squatters.
- awsgc24

Personally I do not believe that Kenya has the money for an underground railway at this time.

However if it was planned to develop the railway in Nairobi I suspect that those squatters would be simply cleared away so that not even a cut and cover solution is required.

Aucklands underground railway is to be a tunnelled link between Britomart and a point on the so called western line.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Rift valley railway services resumes in Mombasa
16 January 2014 Mombasa



Rift valley railway services have resumed to normalcy after last night's incident where cargo train derailed and blocked railway at Taru area along the Mombasa Nairobi highway.
James Siesle manager RVR Mombasa says the problem has been sorted by engineers and cargo trains have started to operate.
He says the passenger train for Mombasa will depart Nairobi.
Atleast 1000 passengers on a train were stranded in Mombasa last night following the incident that paralyzed cargo and passenger operations.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The government will spend 7.2 billion shillings to resettle those living on land earmarked for expansion of the rail network in Nairobi and its environs.
This will be done through the resettlement Action Plan which will be conducted within 18 months.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau however says that this will be a one off programme and warns those who continue encroaching on land meant for infrastructure projects that they would be prosecuted.
He says 20 more stations will be built to enhance movement of passengers and goods speaking to KBC, Kamau said plans to build a 7km railway line between JKIA and Syokimau are at an advanced stage.
Three railway stations comprising Syokimau, Imara Daima and Makadara have been built in the last four years the only ones built since construction of the Mombasa Malaba railway 80 years ago.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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t is now emerging that the standard gauge railway project was not a government to government contract between Kenya and China.
Parliamentary Public Investment Committee Monday heard that the deal was a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Transport and the China Roads and Bridges Company.
Kenya Railways Corporation acting MD Alfred Matheka who appeared before the committee was pressed to clarify why an insurance amounting to 13 billion shillings was attached to the loan if the contract was on a government to government basis.
Matheka found himself at pains to explain the nature of the contract.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Engineer Michael Kamau was tasked to explain why due diligence was conducted after an award of a tender to the Chinese company.
Kamau claimed the procurement systems vary from country to country. Head of Public Procurement Oversight Authority Maurice Juma failed to convince the committee why the government single sourced the Chinese company ignoring the public procurement and disposal act.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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In 1898, the British were in the process of building a railway bridge over the Tsavo River in Tsavo, Kenya. Over the next nine to ten months, the Indian railway workers hired by the British, as well as native Africans in the area, were terrorized by two lions. At the time, reports estimated that the two lions had killed up to 135 people in less than a year.

We all know that not all lions are as cuddly as Simba or Christian, but they don't typically hunt men, either. A lion's diet usually consists of wildebeasts, zebras, and other large prey. Attacks on humans aren't unheard of, but humans are usually more of a threat to lions due to our technology and superior weapons.
According to the workers, the lions would stalk through the camp at night and drag people from their tents, run off with them, and have a nice dinner. The lions were both male, though they didn't yet have manes (in fact, lions in the region are known for being "mane-less").
One worker described the attacks as particularly brutal: "Hundreds of men fell victims to these savage creatures, whose very jaws were steeped in blood. Bones, flesh, skin and blood, they devoured all, and left not a trace behind them."
In December of 1898, both lions were shot and killed by Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, who was overseeing the bridge-building project. The first was killed with two shots, while the second required nine bullets before it finally fell. Both of the lions were skinned and spent 25 years on Patterson's floor as rugs. However, he eventually sold both of the skins to the Field Museum in Chicago for $5000 (about $68,000 in 2013), where they were reconstructed, stuffed, and remain on exhibit today.
The lions' exploits and their eventual demise became legend, and Patterson became famous for ending it all. He even wrote a book about his adventures titled The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, published in 1907. It was later the basis for a handful of different movies.">The Man-Eaters of Tsavo, published in 1907. It was later the basis for a handful of different movies.
All that said, the railroad company only ever acknowledged that 28 workers, all Indian nationals, had been killed by the lions — a far cry from the 135 people that Patterson led everyone to believe. The exact number of deaths has been a matter of dispute for some time. However, recent research backs the railroad's story.
Scientists took samples of the Tsavo Man-Eaters' hair and bone collagen, and analysed their chemical composition. By analysing the hair, scientists are able to determine what the lions ate in the last three months of their lives. Bone collagen, on the other hand, develops slowly, allowing scientists to see what the lions typically ate throughout their lives.
The results were compared to DNA from modern Tsavo lions, human samples collected in 1929 in East Africa, and various "normal" prey, such as zebras and wildebeasts. The scientists discovered that both lions had indeed incorporated humans into their diet in their last nine months of life. However, they found that one lion had only eaten about 11 humans, while the other had eaten roughly 24. Both supplemented their diet with herbivores.
The numbers are only estimates, but according to the study, we can say with about 95% accuracy that the lions ate between 4 and 76 people during that nine month time period. With this new research and the railroad company's figure of 28 deaths- and even factoring in that the lions may have killed some humans that the railroad company knew nothing about- Patterson's figure seems to be grossly exaggerated.
As you might imagine, it's thought that he probably gave an exaggerated number to make the whole ordeal seem more spectacular and make himself look good for killing both of the lions and putting an end to their reign of terror.
As to why the lions were feasting on humans at all, there are several different theories. First, the Tsavo River bridge building was taking place in the midst of climate change that had decimated populations of the lions' preferred food. It's possible that they had to search for a new food source and found the human workers an easy target. Second, the lion who ate the most people had some severe injuries, including a broken tooth and misaligned jaw. Injured lions have been known to go after people in the past, probably because we're slower and easier to catch.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:

Bonus Facts:

  • The first lion Patterson shot was so large heavy it required 8 men to carry it back to camp.


  • Male Tsavo lions have adapted to not grow manes because the climate around Tsavo is extremely hot and dry, with the lions not having access to much water. If they had manes, they'd sit around panting, wasting a lot of the water they do get.


  • As a side note, lions can typically go 4-5 days without water, getting a lot of moisture that they need from their kills. However, if water is available, they'll usually drink every day.


  • Tsavo lions still have a reputation for preying on people. It's thought that they may have gained a taste for human flesh by eating corpses dumped from Arab slave caravans that rolled through the region.


  • Like house cats, lions spend up to 20 hours of the day in a resting state, using the remaining 4 to hunt and protect their territory. They are considered the "laziest" of the cats.


  • Female lions do a majority of the hunting in exchange for the males protecting the pride. However, they often scavenge meals from hyenas, cheetahs, and leopards in lieu of killing something themselves.


  • "Simba" is the Swahili word for "Lion."





Read more: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/01/man-eaters-tsavo/#ixzz2r8fzJEOg
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Nairobi — PROMINENT anti-corruption proponents called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to halt the Standard Gauge Railway project until investigations into alleged corruption were complete.
Among those calling for the deferment of the project include John Githongo and former Ethics and Anti-corruption Director, Dr Plo Lumumba, who argued that investigations would ensure transparency.
“The stories, rumours and perceptions with regard to this project need to be set aside for it to be accepted by Kenyans as something that we actually do need and is not tagged as another Anglo-leasing or another Goldenberg,” said Githongo.
Lumumba concurred.
“All government agencies are involved and it is already on record the Attorney General who is the Chief legal advisor has said that his office was not involved. The Director of Public Procurement has also said as much and we hold the view that it is in the interest of Kenyans that all these custodians of the Kenyan constitution get involved,” said Lumumba.
He added, “It is better to have a delay of six months and have something that has value for money than to allow this particular scheme to continue under this shadow of corruption.”
The Public investments Committee and the Departmental Committee on Transport are currently investigating the rail project after it was shrouded in controversy.
Among the issues the committees are probing include the conducting of feasibility study for the project, the tendering process and the insurance component of the loan extended by China to Kenya on a government to government basis.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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NAIROBI, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday said the standard gauge railway project must and will go ahead to achieve the government's developmental objective.
Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, Kenyatta thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for accepting his request for funds to build the railway.
He also invited critics to the critical project to channel their grievances to the parliamentary committee investing the procurement process.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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NAIROBI, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday defended the construction of the high speed standard gauge railway project by Chinese firms, saying it must go ahead to achieve the government's development goal.
Kenyatta also thanked his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for accepting his request for funds to build the railway and invited critics to the critical project to channel their grievances to parliamentary committees investigating the procurement process.
"The Standard Gauge Railway project must and will go ahead for us to achieve our developmental agenda. But we want the process of implementing it to be as transparent and as open as possible. This is a project for all Kenyans," Kenyatta told a televised news conference in Nairobi.
He called on the public to shun individuals as well as local and foreign companies with commercial interests that want to scuttle the key infrastructure project, saying the government followed the right procedure in the tender for the project.
"Too often in our country these days, the very notion of economic progress, such as we are working to achieve, is persistently threatened by conflict sparked and fuelled by commercial interest groups, be they local or international. Conflict, of necessity, commands attention and absorbs us. But we must tackle this hostile ideology whose character is ruthless, and method insidious," he said.
The railway to be built by Chinese firms is a flagship project earmarked for the targeted improvements of the regional transport system under the Vision 2030, a plan to make Kenya one of the world's medium income economies.
The high speed railway, expected to be completed by March 2018, will be constructed in three phases with phase I starting from Mombasa to Nairobi, Phase II from Nairobi to Malaba, and the last phase from Malaba to Kampala, Uganda.
"The Export-Import Bank of China will provide a commercial loan of 1.6 billion dollars and a concessional loan of 1.63 billion dollars, a total of 3.23 billion dollars, for the development of Phase 1 of the project covering the 609 km distance from Mombasa to Nairobi, a massive 20 percent of their total portfolio in Africa at present," Kenyata said.
"It says much of what investors think of our country that one can avail this type of investment to a single recipient," he said, adding that the deal was sealed in July 2013 when he made a state visit to China.
Kenyatta said the Standard Gauge Railway will reduce the cost of doing business in the region and make the region far more competitive for investment.
In particular, he said the railway will reduce freight transportation tariff charges from the present average of 0.20 dollars per ton-kilometer to about 0.083 dollars, and reduce transit time by freight trains from 30 hours on average to 8 hours. It will also increase rail transport share in the Northern Corridor, reducing damage to the road network in that area.
"Businesses will thrive. Thousands of jobs will be created. I, for one, believe that the delivery of the Vision 2030 can be brought forward a full decade, if we implement our infrastructure development agenda within the tight time-frames we have set for ourselves. We are irreversibly committed to our developmental agenda," he said.
The president said his government has also made provision in its budget for the fiscal year 2013/14 by creating a Railway Development Fund, supported by a levy of 1.5 percent imposed on all imports.
He said the Kenya Railways and the China Road & Bridge Corporation have undertaken the feasibility study and preliminary design of Phase 1 of the project.
"We embraced it as our own, fully acknowledging its transformative role in our economy. We have detailed time-frames for the delivery of this railway. We intend to meet those time- frames," Kenyatta said.
Kenya has been seeking massive improvements in the national and regional infrastructure, covering road, rail and oil and gas pipelines in its bid to benefit from trade with the rest of eastern Africa.
China is currently in the process of funding the construction of the Nairobi Metropolitan transport system and the Northern- Southern by-pass, a major road projects aimed at easing transport chaos in Nairobi through an expanded roads infrastructure.
Some projects have been delayed by environmental concerns. In the case of the rail project, there are fears that due to the encroachment of the railway reserve, there may be an issue of the resettlement of the people.
Analysts said the authorities should carefully handle the resettlement so that the railway project proceeds.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended the tender for a multibillion-dollar railway project that was won by a Chinese company and sparked widespread criticism over the transparency of the process.
China Road and Bridge Corporation was appointed to build the first phase of Kenya's biggest ever infrastructure project, but anti-corruption watchdogs have urged Kenyatta to suspend construction while two parliamentary committees investigate the tender.
The project to link the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa with Malaba on the Ugandan border is designed to cut transport costs and boost regional trade.
Kenyan officials acknowledge that there was no public bidding, which they say was a condition of Chinese loans to help to fund construction, and some legislators have complained that the contract was overpriced.
Kenyatta, however, told journalists on Tuesday that he would not let the commercial interests of other businesses to derail infrastructure development in east Africa's biggest economy.
"The standard-gauge railway must and will go ahead for us to achieve our development agenda," Kenyatta said at a news conference, adding that those who lost fair bidding processes should "move on".
"We will not walk away from delivering to our people the infrastructure that is critical to changing lives," he said.
China has ramped up investments across east Africa, where it is helping to finance a gas pipeline in Tanzania, hydropower dams in Uganda and road and airport projects in Kenya.
Eximbank China is providing a commercial loan of $1.6 billion and a concessional loan of $1.63 billion to help to fund the first 609km of railway construction from Mombasa to capital city Nairobi, Kenyatta said.
Treasury minister Henry Rotich told the investigating committees that the portion of railway from Mombasa to Nairobi would cost 447.5 billion shillings ($5.22 billion) including financing costs.
Anti-corruption activists have said that there was no competitive bidding and have called on the government to start the tender process afresh.
The railway, which will supplement a decrepit narrow-gauge track on which derailings are frequent, will reduce freight costs to 8 U.S. cents per tonne per kilometre from the present average of 20 U.S. cents, Kenyatta said.
The new line will ferry heavier and bigger containers more quickly and will relieve pressure on the region's congested roads, increasing east Africa's competitiveness as an investment destination.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Photo by Shem Oirere
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (center) led, in November 2013, the ceremonial start of the $3.8-billion railway contract.

Image by McGraw Hill Construction
The current contract covers the first 485-kilometer section of a $14-billion railway project that will link Mombasa to Kampala, Uganda. In the future, the system could be extended into Rwanda and Burundi.

Three Kenyan government groups are investigating allegations of corruption and flawed bidding procedures for a $3.8-billion railway construction contract awarded to China Roads and Bridge Corp. The contract, which covers a 485-kilometer section of the Standard Gauge Railway from the port city of Mombasa to the capital of Nairobi, marks the first phase of a $14-billion railway project that, ultimately, will link Mombasa to Kampala, Uganda.
Alfred Keter, a Kenyan national assemblyman, helped to trigger the probe when he alleged the award of the contract may have been influenced by corruption and noted it had not been procured by an open bidding system. Additionally, Keter asserted the cost of the contract was too high.
Parliament’s public-investments committee, the transport, public-works and housing committee and Kenya’s anti-graft agency launched separate investigations, with final reports expected to be submitted in early March. China Roads and Bridge Corp. (CRBC) is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) Ltd., which was debarred by the World Bank in 2011 for engaging in corrupt business practices related to a Philippines roads project.
The $3.8-billion contract calls for the construction of a 485-km section of the 1,435-millimeter-gauge railway from Mombasa to Nairobi. The wider standard-gauge railway line will replace the narrower, 1,000-mm-gauge Kenya-Uganda Railway line, originally built in 1901. With 33 railyards and terminals, the new system will run parallel to the existing Mombasa-Nairobi highway. According to CRBC, the new railway "will, in some areas, deviate from the existing line in order to attain a relatively straight alignment, which will enhance train speed."
The wider track will enable higher-capacity cargo trains and is expected to reduce shipping costs. Cargo trains will be able to travel at a rate of 80 km/h, while passenger trains can achieve a speed of 120 km/h.
Between Mombasa and Nairobi, the single-track railway will feature 427.3 km of subgrade, 98 bridges, 969 culverts and 77 overpass structures. The majority of the rail system will feature a maximum gradient of 12%, with an allowance of up to 15% in certain sections. Further, the contractor will erect a 1.8-meter-high reinforced-concrete fence along the length of the corridor, CRBC says.
The Chinese firm performed the project’s feasibility study and provided design, cost-estimating services and financing—on the condition the Kenya government awarded CRBC the construction contract.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who commissioned the project last year, has defended the bidding process and blamed “local and international commercial interest groups” for the increasing opposition to the railway.
"The Export and Import Bank of China will provide a commercial loan of $1.6 billion and a concessional loan of $1.63 billion for the development of phase one of the project," he said. The Ex-Im Bank funding equates to 85% of the project's cost; Kenya will provide the remaining 15%, funded by a 1.5% tax on imports.
Kenyan Secretary of Transport and Infrastructure Eng Michael Kamau defended the single-sourcing of the CRBC contract, saying the country “has [previously] done projects financed by the World Bank, African Development Bank and European Union without necessarily applying the procurement laws."
CRBC signed, in 2009, a memorandum of understanding with Kenya, giving it authority to facilitate a government-to-government agreement between Kenya and China and a concessional loan to finance the project.


"If the study [by CRBC] was approved by the ministry of transport, CRBC would be the sole agent to design [engineering, procure and contract], construct and supervise all the work of the project," the agreement stated.


CRBC has defended the process through which it won the five-year railway construction contract. In a February press announcement, the company stated, "CRBC [has] been approved by the Kenya Railway Corp., the ministry of transport and the office of the attorney general. All the approvals followed the current laws and regulations."


The company added, “It is legal to adopt the single-sourced contractor which is recommended by the Chinese government."


However, Githu Muigai, Kenya’s attorney general, publicly stated, in early February, that the model used in awarding the contract raised fundamental legal questions.


"We have reviewed the documentation of the project and have detected numerous prima facie anomalies in the award process and documentation contrary to the Public Procurement and Disposal Act [of] 2005," he said in a letter to the ministry of transport.


That act requires all projects valued at more than $5,792 to be picked through an open bidding system. Parliament also is investigating the award of a $173-million contract to another Chinese firm, Sino-Sure Insurance Co., as an insurer for the project. The cost is roughly 6.9% of the total railway project.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Economists warn on viability of railway project - Kenya
13.03.2014 11:23
Section: Infrastructure
Economic experts have warned that the Standard Gauge Railway project will have much more negative implications on the economy than the huge public wage bill that is currently being discussed in the public.
While describing it as the largest project in Kenya’s history, the Managing Director of Africa Economics David Ndii indicated that the borrowing necessitated by the project will increase the country’s foreign debt by about a third of the total debt.
He pointed out that not enough consultations had taken place before the project was initiated.
“Unless we are keeping two sets of books, I have very serious doubts about the magnitude of the wage bill crisis that is being projected. What is probably serious is the pressure being put on the budget by this project and others of a serious nature. So we cannot just wake up one day and say that we had not realised that our wage bill is growing very unsustainably,” he said at a public forum in Nairobi.
A consultant in public affairs and policy Kiriro wa Ngugi said that the government had neither outlined the different options available nor the technical justification for one gauge over another, nor even provided an assessment of the costs and benefits of the different alternatives.
“Our existing railway is a metre gauge. The physical distance between the inside of one rail to the inside of the other on the railway track is exactly one metre. This gauge is also used in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Tunisia, Vietnam and Thailand, among others,” he stated.
“It is the gauge used in the railway network of the EAC countries except the Tazara line connecting Tanzania with Zambia, which is 1,067mm (Cape gauge). The majority of the railways in southern Africa, Japan, Indonesia and Australia use this Cape gauge.”
He explained that a main justification for choosing the standard gauge is to ensure railways are of the same gauge for better connectivity between neighbouring countries.
He stated that in Kenya’s current situation, the logical commercial demands of regional connectivity is to retain the metre gauge railway.
“But note that we are building a new standard gauge railway between Mombasa and Nairobi only! The logic of regional connectivity does not, therefore, apply,” he continued.
His sentiments were echoed by the Ufungamano Multi Sectoral Forum Treasurer Boniface Adoyo who emphasised that appropriate institutional reforms and an assessment of the costs and benefits of the project need to be undertaken before its commencement.
“Despite the manifest implication of this ballooning wage bill, the government is going full speed ahead with the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway project, a move that will needlessly further push the country’s economy to its limit,” he said.
He outlined four major alternatives to upgrade the railway network in the East Africa Community Countries which include the rehabilitation of the existing railway network which would allow a phased approach to its development, consistent with current and projected demand.
www.capitalfm.co.ke
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Enhancing Mombasa’s role as a major trade gateway to East Africa’s landlocked countries is one of the main aims of a US$13.8 billion flagship railway project which was launched by the Kenyan authorities late last year.

It will provide a much-needed alternative to the country’s congested and pot-holed roads which convey the majority of the country’s freight.

The $5.2 billion first phase of the project, funded by Chinese capital, covers a 280-mile stretch between Mombasa and Kenya’s highland capital, Nairobi.

The work is being carried out by state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and is slated for completion by 2017.

Last summer, CRBC completed the first phase of an expansion at Mombasa’s port.

For more on this story visit our Mombasa trade hub.
 
awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
“Our existing railway is a metre gauge. The physical distance between the inside of one rail to the inside of the other on the railway track is exactly one metre. This gauge is also used in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Tunisia, Vietnam and Thailand, among others,” he stated.

“It is the gauge used in the railway network of the EAC countries except the Tazara line connecting Tanzania with Zambia, which is 1,067mm (Cape gauge). The majority of the railways in southern Africa, Japan, Indonesia and Australia use this Cape gauge.”

He explained that a main justification for choosing the standard gauge is to ensure railways are of the same gauge for better connectivity between neighbouring countries.
- wanderer53

Argentina also has broad and standard gauge lines ; it is not a solely metre gauge country.

Chile also has broad gauge as well as metre gauge.

Brazil also has a different broad gauge as well as metre gauge.

The national gauge in Australia is standard gauge which now connects all mainland capitals. There have been as many as seven isolated (never connected) islands of narrow gauge. The Pilbara standard gauge iron ore lines are isolated by 1000km of desert.

If the clapped out metre gauge lines in Kenya are to be reconstructed from the ground up, then that is a good time to change to standard gauge, with a view of future pan-African interconnectivity. As a minimum, concrete sleepers should be made gauge-convertible, as has been done with one line in Nigeria, and Adelaide.
 
awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

Photo by Shem Oirere

Between Mombasa and Nairobi, the single-track railway will feature 427.3 km of subgrade, 98 bridges, 969 culverts and 77 overpass structures. The majority of the rail system will feature a maximum gradient of 12%, with an allowance of up to 15% in certain sections. Further, the contractor will erect a 1.8-meter-high reinforced-concrete fence along the length of the corridor, CRBC says.
- wanderer53


The photo show only one rail, so how can we tell what gauge it is?

The sleepers in the photo are concrete.

The gradients quoted are too steep (unless rack sections are involved).

Surely the gradients are 1.2% and 1.5%?

No mention of level crossings. Hopefully there will not be too many, including bridges for wildlife.
 
awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
BTW. there may be problems with this SG project in Kenya and adjacent countries because of"
* proper tendering not done,
* change of gauge not justified
* interconnection with railways of other countries too pie-in-sky.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
ANALYSIS

The growing controversy around Kenya's multi-billion dollar railway project has delayed construction, but could it fully derail it?

Kenyans are continuing to hold their breath as a parliamentary committee investigates allegations of irregularities into the tender process for a multi-billion dollar railway project.

The $5.2 billion standard gauge railway is to link Mombasa with Nairobi and has been heralded by President Uhuru Kenyatta as largest project to be undertaken in Kenya for 50 years.

However, claims of corruption and mismanagement in the awarding of the contract have stalled construction and provoked questions into the true costs of the deal.

On one side, anti-corruption campaigners are calling for answers and the Parliamentary Public Investment Committee (PIC) is investigating various allegations and irregularities.

On the other, the government has defended the deal and infrastructure companies are suggesting the inquiry is moving too slowly, holding up the crucial project.

Meanwhile. a number of other issues - such as questions over the wisdom of the project in the first place and controversy over compensation for land - continue to cast a shadow over what has become one of Kenyatta's pet projects.

Controversy on wheels

The need for improved infrastructure in East Africa is clearly apparent and well-documented. According to a 2011 World Bank report, the region's infrastructure lags behind West and Southern Africa's on various indicators, while the International Monetary Fund estimates that trade within the East African Community has tripled over the past decade, putting ever greater strain on already struggling networks.

In Mombasa, for example, Kenya's transport minister Michael Kamau claims some 3,300 trucks leave the regional port each day - one every 30 seconds - generating significant congestion.

In light of these challenges, a huge intra-regional rail network linking Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi was announced in November 2013.

The first phase of the development is to link Mombasa with Nairobi, and will, according to Kenyatta, reduce the costs of freight transport by 60%, cut the journey time down from 30 hours to just 8 hours, and relieve road congestion.

However, soon after the project was announced, rumours of corruption in the tender process emerged, and in December, the young and little-known MP, Alfred Kiptoo Keter, publicly alleged that the project was hugely overpriced relative to international standards and that the legal procedure for bidding had not been followed.

Some political figures hit back with their own allegations that Keter had been hired to stir up trouble by business leaders who were disgruntled at not being awarded the railway deal themselves.

Nonetheless, Kenyan officials did reveal that there had been no public bidding for the concession, which was awarded to China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) reportedly as part of a 2011 memorandum of understanding between the Kenyan and Chinese governments.

That deal is also believed to have included an agreement that the China Exim bank would help fund 85% of the project.

Two parliamentary investigations were launched into allegations around the deal, while the project also faces a challenge in Kenya's High Court.

The first parliamentary probe - carried out by the National Assembly's Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing - gave the deal a clean bill of health in February and urged the government to speed up proceedings so construction could begin.

However, the second investigation - being conducted by the Public Investment Committee - is ongoing and has revealed various irregularities.

For example, documents looked at by the committee suggest that the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) - the government agency which approved the project - ignored warnings from Githu Mugai, Kenya's Attorney-General, prior to the signing of the deal.

The PPOA reportedly consulted Mugai, who raised strong concerns over the way in which the same agreement for the railway switched from being a commercial contract to a government-to-government contract.

In a letter to the agency, he wrote: "In adopting initially a procedure ... and awarding a contract on that basis, only to subsequently cancel it, and purport to re-award it under alternative arrangements, raises doubt about the integrity of the statute's authority."

One suggestion is that the type of deal was changed because government-to-government contracts are not under the purview of the PPOA, meaning it was therefore not required to ensure it followed the usual procurement procedures.

The committee has also reported difficulty getting coherent answers from the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and last week summoned its management as well as that of the PPOA to return to the committee to clarify their testimony, claiming that contradictions in their previous responses show they "were not prepared to deliver factual information."

A number of anti-corruption campaigners meanwhile have called on the government to suspend the railway project until the issues around it have been resolved, while others have demanded the deal be cancelled and a fresh and transparent tender process conducted.

Legacy project

Alongside the various allegations of corruption, the railway project has also stirred controversy in other ways.

Some, such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), for example, have argued that it would make more sense to improve existing railway systems rather than building new ones.

According to the AfDB, railways in East Africa are currently operating at just 20-30% capacity due to poor maintenance and mismanagement, and the bank - along with other financial institutions - previously pledged $164 million to renovate the line between Mombasa and Kampala.

An additional concern is that the new standard gauge railway line will be difficult to integrate with the existing network in East Africa which is mostly narrow gauge, while there have also been questions raised over compensation for those displaced by the construction of the lines.

These myriad concerns and legal challenges are likely to delay the Mombasa-Nairobi project's timetable, which is set for completion in 2017.

However, given President Kenyatta's enthusiasm for it, it seems unlikely that the deal will be completely derailed. Kenyatta has publicly put his name behind the project and has gone as far as to say it "will define my legacy as president of Kenya."

As attention on the project grows, Kenyatta may well be right that the railway programme will be one of the issues for which his time in office is remembered.

But amidst growing controversy over the tender, allegations of corruption and questions over its cost-effectiveness, it remains to be seen just how happy those memories will turn out to be.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
NAIROBI, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Kenya and Ethiopia on Friday signed a bilateral agreement to develop a One-Stop Border Post at Moyale in northern Kenya to boost trade between the two countries.
A joint statement from Kenya's transport ministry said the deal seeks to enhance transport services along the border crossing, strengthen trade in the region as well as reduce transit time for goods across the common border, including enhancing immigration processes.
"The two governments have formally inaugurated a Joint Transport Corridor Commission of ministers, which is expected to speed up the completion of projects within reasonable timeframe," it said.
"This is expected to create the required seamless transport connectivity between the two countries."
Trade volumes between Kenya and its northern neighbor are expected to rise from their current volumes. Kenya's exports to Ethiopia in 2011 were worth 55 million dollars. The country in turn imported goods worth 4.25 million dollars.
Under the Special Status Agreement, Ethiopia also agreed to eliminate non-trade barriers for Kenyan companies by giving land on a lease basis, tax holidays and non-collateral bank loans making it very attractive to investors.
The country has the lowest electricity tariffs in the world costing 0.03 dollars per kilowatt-hour (KWH) and a youthful labor supply with a population of 84.73 million with an average age of 28 years.
Ethiopia saw steady economic growth of 8.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 compared to Kenya's 4.4 percent.
The country's economy is agro-based and agriculture accounts for about 46 percent of the GDP and about 85 percent of total employment.
Kenya is facing a deficit in energy production and so the government has embarked on an ambitious electricity generation plan that will see the government add 15,000MW of electricity to national grid by 2030.
The agreement signed by Transport and Infrastructure Minister, Engineer Michael Kamau on behalf of the government and Ethiopian minister for Transport Workneh Gebeyehu would facilitate gradual removal of non-tariff barriers and improve railway services between the two countries.
The two governments seek to fast-track implementation of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Isiolo-Moyale-Addis Ababa transport and the development of Lamu-Isiolo-Moyale-Addis Ababa transport corridors.
Kenya and Ethiopia said they are determined to address bottlenecks relating to high transport costs, transit delays at entry and exit border points, inadequate infrastructure and poor management of transport systems.
The two have agreed to do away with bureaucratic procedures and devise mechanisms to enhance coordination along the Mombasa to Addis Ababa transport corridor.
The two countries in 2012 launched the technical corridor coordination committee at the principal secretaries' level and soon after established a joint Kenya-Ethiopia Commission at ministerial level for the Mombasa to Addis Ababa transport corridor.
The latest agreement empowers the technical coordination committee to develop modalities on how to mobilize resources and implement the projects components to be undertaken jointly by the two governments.
 
awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

An additional concern is that the new standard gauge railway line will be difficult to integrate with the existing network in East Africa which is mostly narrow gauge, while there have also been questions raised over compensation for those displaced by the construction of the lines.

- wanderer53


Most of the objections in Kenya to the new railway are due to possible corruption, and has nothing to do with gauge.

Several countries have long experience with mainline Dual Gauge (DG), and SG-MG is quite suitable for DG:
* Australia in WA and QLD SG-NG
* Brazil BG3-MG
* Spain BG6-SG
It helps if points and signals are power operated.

Commonwealth Railways (Australia) also piggybacked trainloads of NG rolling stock on rails on SG flatcars, in the mid 1950s.

Bogie exchange is another technique used between SG and BG (not so sure about SG and NG)

There are several other methods.

The phrase "difficult to integrate" is terse and shallow and suggests no deep understanding of potential solutions.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Train crashes into bus at Nairobi rail crossing
At least 11 people killed and more injured in accident in Kenyan capital






A railway line in Kibera slum in Nairobi. Streets and highways often lack basic safety features and most railroad crossings do not have gates or flashing lights. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
A train has crashed into a passenger bus as it passed through a rail crossing in Nairobi, killing at least 11 people and injuring more.

Photographs showed a white passenger bus half crumpled and tilted on its side. Hundreds of people gathered at the scene in the Kenyan capital.
Road accidents with high death tolls are common in Kenya. Streets and highways often lack basic safety features such as reflectors or street signs. Most railroad crossings do not have gates or flashing lights.
In addition, crowded buses frequently speed and pass other cars to cut down travel times.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Most of the objections in Kenya to the new railway are due to possible corruption, and has nothing to do with gauge.

Several countries have long experience with mainline Dual Gauge, and SG-MG is quite suitable for DG:
* Australia in WA and QLD SG-NG
* Brazil BG-MG
* Spain BG-SG
It helps if points and signals are power operated.

Commonwealth (Australia) also piggybacked trainloads of NG rolling stock on rails on SG flatcars, in the mid 1950s.

Bogie exchange is another technique used between SG and BG (not so sure about SG and NG)

There are several other methods.

There phrase "difficult to integrate" is terse and shallow and suggest no deep understanding of potential solutions.
- awsgc24

As you say there are a number of proven ways to overcome the change of gauge which I am sure that in time will be used in East Africa until such time as the meter gauge network is rebuilt to standard gauge.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
NAIROBI, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government on Friday lauded various development projects, particularly on infrastructure, undertaken by Chinese companies in the country, saying they have spurred growth.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau also underscored the crucial role of these projects which could nurture the next generation of technology savvy Kenyans.
Kamau singled out the standard gauge railway among the projects with the potential for immense technology transfer to Kenya since independence.
"Investing in the railway is paramount because it will address a weak point in transport logistics comprising roads and aviation infrastructure," he said during a meeting with Huang Danhua, vice chairwoman of China's State owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.
The railway will be constructed in three phases with phase I starting from Mombasa to Nairobi, Phase II will begin from Nairobi to Malaba while the last phase will start from Malaba to Kampala, Uganda and expected to be completed by March 2018.
Kamau told Huang that Kenya's strategic importance in the region and increasing leadership role makes it an ideal investment destination for Chinese investors.
The two discussed projects in the transport and infrastructure sector that are currently being implemented by Chinese companies.
Speaking during the meeting, Huang hailed the cordial relations existing between Kenya and China, which has enabled greater collaboration in development matters.
She noted that many Chinese companies are involved in construction of roads, aviation, ports and other facilities in the country due to the confidence Kenya has in their expertise and timely delivery of projects.
 
awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Train crashes into bus at Nairobi rail crossing
At least 11 people killed and more injured in accident in Kenyan capital



A railway line in Kibera slum in Nairobi. Streets and highways often lack basic safety features and most railroad crossings do not have gates or flashing lights. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

- wanderer53

The above photo shows both people and some rail tracks possibly with steel sleepers.

Kenya people are very tall with long legs (which is why they do well at the Olympic Marathon races), and the gauge of the tracks may well be 7' like Brunel's GWR.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
Economic Update
Kenya looks to private investors to finance transport infrastructure
Kenya 9 May 2014
Kenya’s transport networks are expected to see a number of significant upgrades in the coming years as a spate of multibillion dollar projects break ground, with the private sector’s involvement set to expand following the passage in 2013 of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act.

In November the government issued a list of 47 approved “priority” PPP projects, including a significant number in the transport sector, ranging from airports and seaports to highways and railroads.

Among the list was the Lamu Port project, part of the larger Lamu Port and Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET). The $26bn development includes a seaport and airport in the northern coastal city of Lamu, as well as improved connections to regional commerce centres in Ethiopia and South Sudan. The private sector is expected to finance 70% of the development’s cost.

Speaking to OBG, LAPSSET Chairman Francis Kirimi Muthaura discussed the project’s broader implications. “The purpose of LAPSSET is to provide northern Kenya with access to international markets. Through the corridor, counties far from Nairobi will now have the infrastructure to support the export of their key products,” he said.

Construction of the transport corridor, which would run across Kenya’s sparsely populated north and include highway, railway and pipeline infrastructure, is already under way in some areas. Work on the new 20-berth seaport in Lamu was due to begin in early 2014, but the project has experienced delays, in part due to a temporary shortage of funds, according to local press reports.  

Nairobi-Mombasa railway
Kenya has a PPP unit in the National Treasury, responsible for overseeing the coordination of PPP projects, and in recent years, the country has seen a number of reforms aimed at increasing participation by the private sector in public infrastructure projects. Among the more prominent initiatives in addition to the 2013 PPP legislation included the passage of an institutional PPP framework in 2009, a governmental PPP policy statement in 2011, and a World Bank-funded Infrastructure Finance and PPP project in 2012.

However, while PPPs are set to be an important form of financing infrastructure upgrades, the government has sought alternatives. A $5.2bn standard-gauge railway between Nairobi and the southern port city of Mombasa is being financed in large part by the Export-Import Bank of China, which is set to provide 85% of project funding. Chinese state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation began construction on the line in late 2013.

On completion of the Nairobi-Mombasa segment, which is expected in 2017, travel time between the two cities will be reduced from 15 to four hours. Future extensions are planned for Uganda, with branch lines to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

The railway is part of a larger push to improve efficiency at the Port of Mombasa. While the port is considered to be one of the best in East Africa, the roads on which most exporters rely to reach it are in need of an upgrade.  

Nairobi area infrastructure
Reducing congestion in and around Nairobi has been another priority, led by a bid to launch Kenya’s first urban railway system, Nairobi Commuter Rail (NCR).

The project involves the rehabilitation of around 160 km of the existing rail system within Nairobi, as well as the construction of a new line to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The commuter rail project has been in the works since 2009 but has experienced delays. As of late 2013, four of 26 stations planned were operational.

According to the priority list of PPP projects, the government is seeking a partner to rehabilitate 100 km of the existing Nairobi railway under a PPP model. This would involve replacing existing track, signaling systems, stations and rolling stock.

Efforts to boost rail ridership have complemented upgrades to Nairobi’s roads. The Nairobi Southern Bypass, currently under construction, and the Nairobi-Thika Road, completed in 2012, will help reduce downtown traffic, as well as improve the movement of cargo throughout Kenya, by diverting vehicles away from Nairobi’s city center.

The Kenya National Highways Authority plans to outsource the management of both roadways to private contractors under separate long-term operation and maintenance concessions, with contracts currently in the early stages of a bidding process. The concession arrangements will be funded via newly established toll stations along both roadways.

The Nairobi Outer Ring Road, which serves as a major arterial road for the city’s north and east districts, will also be improved. The African Development Bank is set to finance 89.8% of the $130m improvement project via a $115.9m loan, while a further $5m will be made available as a grant.

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