Kenya train ferry Uhuru_II_01

KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the launch of the train ferry Uhuru II at Kisumu on Lake Victoria in early August.

Kenya train ferry launch

The 100 m long, 1 800 tonne ship with a capacity to carry up to 22 metre gauge wagons has been built by Kenya Shipyards Ltd in Kisumu, in co-operation with Damen of the Netherlands at a cost of US$20m. The president’s office said it was ‘a flagship project aimed at positioning Kenya as a regional ship building hub and unlocking Kenya’s immense blue economy potential’.

Kenya train ferry construction

Kenya Railways operates train ferries between Jinja, Mwanza, Musoma and Kisumu, transporting mainly petroleum products.

Kenya train ferry

The new vessel will complement the existing Uhuru which has been in service since 1966 and returned to service in 2019 after a US$419 000 overhaul, and sister ship Umoja which is operated by Tanzanian Railway Corp.

Both were built by Yarrow in Scotstoun, Glasgow and owned and operated by the East African Railways & Harbors Corp until 1977, when it was divided between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.