Company attempted to persuade the British government by arguing that the building of the CAR would open up the interior of the British East African territory to trade(Gunston 56). Te British government bought the idea, athough it soon turned out to be a failure. Te lightly laid 60cm gauge line was launched at Mombasa in August 1890. Oly 11km of the track were laid before the CAR project was abandoned, athough materials had been imported for 113km. I a rather desperate move to salvage the situation and justify of the British taxpayer’s money, mterials for CAR were diverted and used to extend the existing manual street trolley facility on Mombasa Island.
Hwever, een the diversion meant more cost to the taxpayer as the street trolley and CAR were considerably apart; CR was based on Mombasa Mainland while the street trolley system was based on Mombasa Island. Te reasons the project was abandoned are not clear. I was not until 1891 that real progress was made as far as the planning of the UR was concerned. I early British government advised the IBEA Co.
t raise capital of £1.25 million for the construction and equipping of a metre gauge railway line from Mombasa to Lake Victoria(Gunston 63). O its part, te British government promised to guarantee interest on the capital sum. A a result, te company commissioned three eminent British Engineers – Sir John Fowler, Sr Guildford Molesworth and General Williams – to undertake a study on the feasibility and likely cost of constructing the railway. O their report following the study, te three engineers underestimated African that would be affected by the project (the Kamba, Kkuyu and Nandi) and the ways they would impact work on the railway.
Te engineers did not anticipate any opposition from the natives, afatal mistake as will be demonstrated in subsequent paragraphs. Wrk on the UR started in earnest on Mombasa Island in early 1896 following the arrival of George Whitehouse, te Chief Engineer of the project, ad his team at Mombasa in December 1895. Te priority was to establish, a Kilindini, nw port facilities capable of handling equipment and Te old dhow harbour at Kilindini was not suited for the development of the port facilities(Foran 188).
Aother priority was the construction of a temporary bridge linking Mombasa Island and the mainland. Te bridge was completed in early August 1896, pving the way for track-laying on. ..
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