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Kenya Railways scales down Nairobi Commuter services during festive season

Kenya Railways says it has scaled down the Nairobi Commuter Rail services within Nairobi and satellite towns.

It did not give any reason for the scale down.

Thus, the commuter rail services which operates to Ruiru, Embakasi Village, Kikuyu, Syokimau, Limuru and Lukenya in Kitengela will be temporarily stopped between December 22 and January 3, 2023.

“Normal commuter operations will resume on January 3rd 2023,” Kenya Railways said.

The Corporation said the services operational during the festive season include Madaraka Express Passenger Services to and from Mombasa and Nairobi that operates each day.

Others not affected include Madaraka Express passenger service between Nairobi and Suswa station in Narok that operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Kenya Railways said the link services between Nairobi Central station and Nairobi terminus every day at 0630 hours, 1200 hours and 2010 hours has not been affected by the scaling down.

The safari train to and from Nanyuki and Nairobi that operates on Fridays and Sundays as well as the Safari train to and from Nairobi and Kisumu that operates on Fridays and Sundays has not been affected.

Last week, the government ordered Kenya Railways to increase the number of trains ferrying passengers and goods to Kisumu from next week.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen made the announcement during a tour of the Naivasha Inland Container Depot.

CS Murkomen said the move would help to reduce road congestion during the festive season.

“I have instructed Kenya Railways to increase the number of trains to Kisumu from 21st December 2022 to 3rd January 2023 to meet the increasing demand occasioned by the festive season and ease pressure on our roads,” the CS said in a statement.

In November 2020, former President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Nairobi Commuter Rail System.

The system consists of Diesel Mobile Units and Commuter Rail Buses which offer Bus Services to various parts of the city.

The Nairobi Central Station serves as the nerve centre of operations connecting to 10 stations in satellite towns.

Currently, there are commuter train services on Nairobi – Imara Daima-Syokimau route, Nairobi – Githurai – Mwiki – Kahawa – Ruiru route, Nairobi-Embakasi route, and Nairobi – Kibera – Kikuyu route, Nairobi – Limuru and Nairobi – Lukenya in Kitengela.

Travellers are ferried to and from the Nairobi Central Station under the Commuter Rail Project, a collaboration of the Kenya Railway Service and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

The commuter rail is part of the Master Plan of an integrated commuter system within the city and its environs. It also comprises the Bus Rapid Transit, monorail and underground rail.

Kenya Railways purchased 11 refurbished DMUs for Sh1.15 billion.

The DMUs plies five routes from Nairobi Central Station to Embakasi Village, Syokimau, Kitengela, Kikuyu and Thika.

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