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October 17, 2019

Kenya inaugurates $1.5bn Nairobi-Naivasha rail line

Kenya has commissioned the second phase Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project linking the capital city of Nairobi to Naivasha.

Kenya has commissioned the second phase Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project linking the capital city of Nairobi to Naivasha.

The 120km railway line has been built by China Road and Bridge with an investment of $1.5bn.

This new extension is connected to another Chinese built railway line, Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, which is worth $3.2bn.

The State House of Kenya said: “President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta make a stopover at Ongata-Rongai SGR Station. The Head of State and the First Lady are on the maiden trip to Suswa aboard Madaraka Express.”

President’s office spokeswoman Kanze Dena told CNN that this line will feature four terminals and the trains will run three times daily.

Dena said: “As it is being launched today, tomorrow passengers are able to use the trains. There will be a train moving from Ngong station to Rongai, Mai Mahiu and Suswa. And another one coming from the other direction back to Ngong.”

This infrastructure project is a part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. The country plans to develop infrastructure and invest in 152 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

Kenya Railway director Musembi Mumo sain: “The rail project is happening in stages. Phase one was funded and completed and phase two has now been completed. The funding was from the Exim Bank of China.”

Last year, a Kenyan court has charged two senior government officials with fraud over land allocation for a new rail line worth $3bn, linking Nairobi with Mombasa, East Africa’s biggest port.

Funded by the Chinese Government, it is one of the biggest infrastructure projects launched by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and was planned to ultimately connect South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean.

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