AFRICA: Kenya - Uganda railway concessionaire Rift Valley Railways has taken delivery of a ballast tamper and ballast profiler ordered from Plasser & Theurer at a cost of USh3bn to significantly reduce the time taken to undertake track maintenance.

The two machines will work in tandem to correctly align track at a rate of 1 km/h, compared to a rate of 40 m/h for manual methods. This should result in enhanced track stability and the lifting of speed restrictions on the 500 km of curved track that will be prioritised for attention.

'This is the latest capital investment the company is making aimed at improving the quality of the line', said RVR General Manager, Western, Mark Rumanyika. 'Last year we reopened Uganda's Northern Line after extensive rehabilitation and replaced 70 km of worn-out rail between Mombasa and Nairobi, cutting journey times between the two cities by over 6 h.'