An acute shortage of spare parts needed to maintain trains to safe running order has brought rail services throughout Kenya to a halt this week -- and there are no signs that they will be resumed for the moment.
GV & CU Nairobi Railway Station (2 shots)
SV Partly deserted platform
CU Notice - "No Passenger Service"
CU Man reading newspaper "Trains come to a halt"
SV Railway tracks
MV Deserted entrances to ticket offices (2 shots)
GV Deserted railyard
CU Loaded rail trucks PAN TO station and railway yards
Initials BB/2220 PW/DE/BB/2210
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Background: An acute shortage of spare parts needed to maintain trains to safe running order has brought rail services throughout Kenya to a halt this week -- and there are no signs that they will be resumed for the moment.
The problem -- a familiar one to railway systems in a great many countries -- stems from a shortage of cash. Spare parts for the East African Railways Corporation are normally supplied by Britain, through the Crown Agents. But the railways are in debt to the Crown Agents for some 30 million Kenyan shillings (2 million sterling) and supplies have been cut off.
It has meant the suspension of passenger services -- and this is losing the railway nearly 100,000 sterling a month in revenues. Essential freight trains are also severely affected.
Main-line trains from Nairobi normally run every day to the port of Mombasa and through to Kampala, Uganda, as well as once weekly to Tanzania.
An attempt to solve the present dilemma is being made by a team of EARC representatives now in London for talks with the Crown Agents, and it is hoped that further credit will be advanced to the railways -- one of the Crown Agents' oldest customers.