Plans afoot for JKIA-Syokimau rail link
The National Government has announced plans to construct a new railway line to link Syokimau Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) terminus to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The project will see the Syokimau SGR terminus extended to JKIA with plans already underway to identify execution of the project with the new line running from the Syokimau terminus across Mombasa Road right into the airport.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said already Kenya is in talks with the French government on the execution of the project.
The expansion of the rail track will be extended to JKIA allowing air travellers an alternative mode of transport to and from the airport without suffering the frustration of being caught up in the Mombasa Road traffic jam.
This will in turn significantly ease traffic delays that characterise the road network and also promotes railway usage further to the public.
“We have another project that will connect the Syokimau Station to the airport. Both Kenya and the French government had agreed on the funding and shall be implemented soon,” said Mr Macharia.
On Monday, Mr Macharia launched a new railway link from the city centre to JKIA which will see air travellers pay Sh500 to use diesel trains from the Nairobi Railway Station to JKIA and vice versa in a trip that will take only 20 minutes each way.
A cheaper option was also made available to the travellers where one can spend Sh140 from JKIA to city centre but on a longer route that will see passengers connect from the Nairobi Railway Station to Embakasi Village Station and finally take the Bus Rapid Transit vehicles through the Airport South Road which has been dedicated to the Nairobi Commuter Rail Bus.
The CS said the upgrading of the country’s railway network was an investment Kenyans should be proud of as it had taken 122 years for it to happen
“We now have a railway system which we can be proud of. Before the SGR, no major investment had been done in the country in the railway network for a whole 122 years. The railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi was constructed in 1885,” he said.
The national government has lately embarked on modernising transport in the capital city through the launch of commuter rail service as part of ongoing efforts to ease transport for Nairobi residents with the new railway line projected to move 200,000 passengers daily once fully operational.
This has seen five Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) unveiled and the Nairobi Central Railway Station refurbished with the aim of acting as the nerve centre of operations connecting to 10 stations in satellite towns, including newly-built stations in Donholm and Pipeline.