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Kenya’s Embattled Standard Gauge Railway Reopens After COVID-19 Lockdown and Now Has to Earn a Lot of Money Fast to Repay Chinese Loans

Kenyan lawmakers are hoping China will consider a debt repayment extension to service the remaining $3.3 billion that was borrowed to build the Standard Gauge Railway. Simon Mania/AFP

Kenya’s ailing Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) announced plans to resume passenger service between Nairobi and Mombasa now that President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the partial lockdown in the capitol. During the lockdown, brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, the SGR only carried cargo on its various lines, further hampering the railway’s ability to generate the revenue needed to repay billions of dollars of loans to Chinese contractors and operators.

It’s been a rough past couple of months for Kenya Railways (KR) and its SGR lines:

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