Future of Nairobi’s transport takes shape
Posted Tuesday, May 29 2012 at 20:35
The future of Nairobi’s transport has started to take shape with the completion of a 2.2 kilometre railway line connecting the newly-built Syokimau station with the old Embakasi line.
The line, the first railroad Kenya has built since the Second World War, is part of the Vision 2030 development blueprint whose goal is to make Kenya a middle income country in 18 years.
It has been built at a cost of Sh200 million and is expected to be operational by end of July.
The railroad is part of a larger Sh24 billion ($300 million) urban transport network that will connect Nairobi’s estates with the central business district.
“We will have two trains moving in different directions and with a capacity to handle 10,000 passengers a day,” Nduva Muli, the Kenya Railway chief executive, said on Tuesday.
The Nairobi commuter train that operates on a single route twice a day serves 50,000 people.
The new railway line will be served by six refurbished locomotives with a total capacity of 175 passengers each.
Transport minister Amos Kimunya said Kenya Railways will build a new 6.5 kilometres line connecting Embakasi to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) starting July next year.
Kenya Railway is building the Nairobi commuter train service with the technical advice of InfraCo Group.
“Construction of this line is a start in what should eventually be a shift from road to railway transport in Nairobi,” said Mr Kimunya.
Apart from the Syokimau Station, the Nairobi urban transport masterplan has three other new railway stations on the cards.
They will be built in Jogoo Road’s Makadara estate, Mombasa Road’s Imara Daima whose construction is ongoing and Nairobi’s Moi Avenue.
The plan aims at reducing Nairobi’s reliance on matatu transport and eliminate traffic jams that have become common in the city.