City Affairs

13 new commuter rail stations to be commissioned in October - Murkomen

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The stations include Mlolongo, Kitengela, Lukenya, Mutindwa, Kariobangi, Kenyatta University, Gitambaya (Ruiru), Aviation, Kibera, Satellite, Mutuini, Thogoto and Gitaru.

Boost for Commuter rail users as the Ministry of Transport sets the deadline for construction of 13 new commuter rail stations in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen on Tuesday announced that the stations should be completed by September this year.

"The 13 new commuter rail stations in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area will reduce traffic congestion, curb carbon emissions, and ensure free movement of people within the Metropolis," he said.

The stations include Mlolongo, Kitengela, Lukenya, Mutindwa, Kariobangi, Kenyatta University, Gitambaya (Ruiru), Aviation, Kibera, Satellite, Mutuini, Thogoto and Gitaru.

CS Murkomen highlighted that the 13 stations are set to be commissioned for use by October 1, 2024. "The initiative, supported by our development partners, seeks to offer cheaper, seamless and more convenient means of transport for the residents of the Nairobi Metropolis," he said.

Early this year, Kenya Railways Corporation announced a plan to significantly expand the network. The Kenya Railways 2023-2027 Strategic Plan details the construction of three new lines covering 45.9 kilometres.

The first line, Embakasi Village-Ruai, will cover 12 kilometres and will enhance connectivity in the eastern part of the capital.

The second part will link the Nairobi standard gauge railway (SGR) terminus to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), covering an estimated distance of 5 kilometres. This new line is expected to facilitate smoother and more efficient travel for both domestic and international passengers.

The third and longest line will run for 28.9 kilometres, covering the Riruta/Lenana-Ngong/Rongai areas.

In the plan, Kenya Railways noted that these lines are part of strategies to boost the sector and increase cargo and passenger numbers.

The cooperation has plans to increase its passenger numbers from the current 5.7 million to 8.8 million by 2027. "We aim to increase metre gauge railways locomotive availability from 70 per cent to 92 per cent while maintaining SGR locomotive availability at 95 per cent during the plan period," the document stated. "This will be achieved through the acquisition, overhauling, and rehabilitation of MGR locomotives."

The Nairobi Commuter Rail Service was introduced in May 1992 in response to a series of strikes by matatu operators. But over the years, there has been low demand that Kenya Railways blames on the poor standards of the station's facilities.

However, the service was revived in November 2020 by former President Uhuru Kenyatta. The project was a game-changer in the reduction of both vehicular and human traffic jams in the city.

Passengers have been saving both time and money and at the same time enjoy much-needed comfort on their way to and from the city centre.

Some of the stations were upgraded and others were constructed by Kenya Railways. They include Embakasi, Pipeline, Makadara, Limuru, Central Railways station, Ruirui, among others.

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