19 November 2012

Kenya: Nairobi Gets Fast Train System

Nairobi — Kenya inched closer to achieving its dream of an ultra-modern metropolitan rail transport system with the official launch of the Syokimau Commuter Railway station.

Constructed at a cost of $4.7 million, the facility is the first in a series of nine others in the pipeline in what is expected to radically change the face of public transport in Kenya's capital Nairobi and other major towns.

Among others, similar stations under construction include Jogoo Road, Imara Daima and Makadara Estate.

The government has set aside $282 million to cater for such facilities under the Nairobi Commuter Railway System.

The facility located adjacent the busy Mombasa Road is Kenya's most pronounced attempt at transforming the railway line left unattended by colonialist close to a century down the line.

President Mwai Kibaki officially launched services on the line which will serve Nairobi's larger Eastlands estates and drastically ease traffic jam along the busy highway that cuts in the middle of the capital and traverses all the way to western Kenya into other regional countries like Uganda and Sudan.

The opening of the station marks another major milestone in the fronted development blueprint captioned in the national Vision 2030 Economic plan. The plan aims at making Kenya a newly industrialized middle income country. It borrows heavily from the highly developed countries in Asia such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan among others famously referred to as the 'Asian Tigers'.

The new railway service will make four trips a day ferrying passengers from Syokimau Station to the Railways Headquarters in Nairobi's Central Business District. The service will cut travel time for commuters by more than half.

Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC) the official government body charged with managing the country's railway system contracted El Noor General Contractors Ltd to construct the facility. Five similar facilities are expected to be completed in the next three years since construction is already underway.

"We believe such facilities is what our country needs in our collective effort to become an industrialized country by the year 2030. Apart from easing traffic on our roads with attendant costs, this facility will provide employment and greatly boost our economy," said Kibaki.

The station will especially come as a reprieve to thousands of commuters from surrounding areas such as Mlolongo, Athi River, Kitengela, Kajiado, Machakos and Syokimau Estate who work in the capital and spend a lot of money to commute and time in traffic jam.

The service comes complete with a modern passenger ticketing system, surveillance cameras, shopping malls, restaurants and ample vehicle parking facility.

The facility has been constructed in a way that encourages commuters to park their vehicles at Syokimau for a fee and then take the train to the capital which is much faster and cheaper. The long term idea is to decongest the capital through encouragement of mass transport services where people from all sides of the capital are encouraged to stop using private cars to the CBD.

The new railway service will make four trips a day ferrying passengers from Syokimau Station to the Railways Headquarters in Nairobi's Central Business District. The service will cut travel time for commuters by more than half.

Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC) the official government body charged with managing the country's railway system contracted El Noor General Contractors Ltd to construct the facility.

Five similar facilities are expected to be completed in the next three years since construction is already underway.

"We believe such facilities is what our country needs in our collective effort to become an industrialized country by the year 2030.

Apart from easing traffic on our roads with attendant costs, this facility will provide employment and greatly boost our economy," said Kibaki.

The station will especially come as a reprieve to thousands of commuters from surrounding areas such as Mlolongo, Athi River, Kitengela, Kajiado, Machakos and Syokimau Estate who work in the capital and spend a lot of money to commute and time in traffic jam.

The service comes complete with a modern passenger ticketing system, surveillance cameras, shopping malls, restaurants and ample vehicle parking facility.

This will decongest of traffic.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 East African Business Week. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.