The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Uhuru Rides Train During His Tour of Istanbul Rail

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday evening toured the Istanbul underground commuter rail system that connects the European and Asian sides of the city. The system built at the cost of more than Sh320 billion provides a modern high-capacity rail system that has the capacity to be used by 150,000 people an hour.

The system known as the Marmaray Project connects the railway line on the two sides of the Istanbul strait and consists of three underground stations.

President Kenyatta took a ride on the underground trains and was taken on a tour of modern control centers. At the control center, he was shown an efficient monitoring system that brings together management of issues ranging from parking for trains to coordination of emergency services.

The president's tour coincided with the late evening rush hour with multitudes of Turkish citizens using the underground system. The President was also taken on a tour of an exhibition of artefacts from the past millenniums that were found underground during the construction of the project.

The project undertaken by the current Turkish government has reduced the transportation pressure on Istanbul which is the third largest city in the world. Istanbul was visited by more than 10 million people in 2012 alone after it was named the European Capital of Culture.

Besides the underground train system, the Turkish government has been upgrading the Istanbul transportation system.

The Kenya Government is currently in the process of starting the construction of a modern rail system.

During President Kenyatta's State visit, Kenya and Turkey reached agreements to cooperate on trade issues and one of the major areas of cooperation is transport infrastructure.

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