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RVR cancels commuter routes after downpour

Railway commuters will have to use alternative means after Rift Valley Railways stopped operations on most city routes.

This is after the weekend downpour, the heaviest so far damaged its railway according to the firm’s notice.

It was not immediately clear the extend of the damage, but RVR cancelled the Ruiru, Kahawa West, Dandora and Embakasi routes.

Only the Syokimau commuter train will be operating.

The notice only indicated that RVR technicians would be working to resolve the situation for at least the one-week the trains will be parked.

“There is no chance that services will run normally as technical issues are being worked on,” said RVR Communication officer Collins Gatere.

Increase fares 

However, Kenya Railways Head of Corporate Affairs Margaret Kawira said the trains departure time had been adjusted from 6:55am to 7:05am.

This means the commuters will have to pay more for their fares on the road where matatus increase fares at the slight sign of impending downpour.

The weekend rain also affected air transport leading to the diverting aircraft scheduled to land at the Wilson Airport to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

A senior pilot said that more than a dozen planes were affected by the sudden change.

Wilson Airport does not have an Instrument Landing System which guides an aircraft to a specified height without the pilot having to use visuals.

Not authorised

“So whenever we experience bad weather, the planes planning to depart have to wait until calm weather returns, and those arriving have to be diverted to JKIA,” said the pilot who cannot be named because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).

Motorists were also affected by the rain that started at 4pm and caused massive floods on roads.

Jogoo, Outer Ring, North Airport, Lusaka, Juja, Enterprise and Mombasa roads were among the worst affected roads with traffic jams lasting for several hours.

The Meteorological Department has however said that the worst is over predicting that the rains will decreasing this week.