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New railway to link Mombasa and Nairobi
The construction of Kenya’s first standard-gauge railway from Mombasa to Nairobi, at a cost of $3.2 billion, is expected to be completed by March 2017.
According to Kenya’s Transport Principal Secretary, Irungu Nyakera, civil works on the railway project are 80% complete.
Nyakera says 280km of track has so far been laid from Voi to Sultan Hamud; the total route length is 472km. He adds that the Kenyan government has already started the acquisition of locomotives, passenger coaches and wagons, with 56 locomotives set to be delivered from China before the end of the year.
The railway will revolutionise transport in Kenya, says Nyakera, with the journey taking only four hours from Mombasa to Nairobi. It will also relieve congestion on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
Tourism players are upbeat that the commissioning of the standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Nairobi will boost tourism. Kenya Coast Tourism Association Chairman, Mohamed Hersi, says the railway will make it easier for tourists to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa.