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Kenya Railways closes train services as lines flooded

Kenya Railways
A Kenya Railways commuter train. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

All commuter train services to Kikuyu, Ruiru, Embakasi and Syokimau will remain suspended due to the ongoing flooding in various parts of Nairobi, leaving thousands of city residents stranded.

Kenya Railways acting Managing Director Jamhuri Mainga said Thursday the operator has been forced to ground operations from its Nairobi Central Railway Station as vast sections of the rail remain submerged in water.

Nairobi residents have in recent times opted to use the train services whose fares start from lows of Sh40 from Nairobi Central Railway Station to Ruiru. This is half of the Sh80 charges by public service vehicles on the same route during peak hours.

“The disruption witnessed today is as a result of the flooding due to heavy rains being experienced all over the country. Some sections of the line along our metre gauge railway network were submerged as a result of heavy flooding making it impossible for our trains to operate efficiently,” Mr Mainga said in a statement.

He added that illegal residences and businesses that have encroached on the rail reserve continue to dump garbage on the line thus blocking the drainage systems leading to the flooding.

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The Kenya Railways has since last year stepped up efforts to upgrade its rail network and open up more destinations increasing competition on matatus by offering cheaper and more reliable transport services.

Construction of 10 new stations in Kahawa, Githurai, Kikuyu, Mwiki, Dandora, Donholm, Pipeline and Athi River in Machakos is ongoing.

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