October 8, 2010 / 12:07 PM / 9 years ago

Kenya invites new bids for cross-country railway

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya Railways on Friday invited fresh bids for work on a railway to run between the port city of Mombasa and the Ugandan capital Kampala, expected to triple train speeds and increase regional trade.

Kenya Railways said in a newspaper advertisement it had asked for bids for consultancy services for preliminary design and environmental and social assessment services for the section of the railway between Mombasa and Malaba at the Kenyan border.

Kenya Railways cancelled a first bid when expressions of interest came in too high for its budget. It readvertised but that bid was also cancelled by government procurement authorities when a losing bidder won an appeal.

The railway, which will run on a standard gauge, is meant to supplement an existing metre-gauge railway that the British built at the turn of the previous century.

The government says Mombasa’s port handles more than 16 million tonnes of cargo annually, a total which is forecast to jump to 30 million tonnes by 2030.

At present, most cargo travels from Mombasa by road to Uganda, south Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.

Earlier in the year Kenya Railways said its aim was for the railway to be operational within three years and to carry 10 times as much freight.

Tender documents on the Kenya Railways website show consultants are expected to conduct studies on infrastructure design, identify a suitable route for the line and give estimates of market demand and revenue forecasts.

Uganda will build its side of the railway.

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