Kenya’s national railway to invest $49m in infrastructure upgrade

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has disclosed plans to invest Sh5 billion ($49 million) in upgrading its infrastructure in Nairobi just as it seeks to raise commuter traffic. This has already started with a Sh300 million upgrade of the Ruiru station.

The upgrade will happen over two years, during which 20 stations will either be built or rehabilitated in the Kenyan capital under a public private partnership model.

“The works on the Ruiru station have commenced and we have also competed designs for another five which have been tendered and the winning contractors will be announced soon,” Business Daily Africa quoted Maina to have said.

Tracks, engines and coaches would also be improved. Maina said the tracks upgrade would ensure an exponential growth in passenger numbers. The KRC currently records 13,000 passengers per day.

Nairobi is one of Africa’s cities with the worst traffic congestion. The situation was estimated in 2014, to cost the city $570,000 daily. KRC’s ‘park and ride’ could reduce congestion in the city. As it upgrades its infrastructure, KRC plans to expand the concept too. The ‘park and  ride’ concept which currently runs in a few stations allows car owners to leave their vehicles at the stations parking are for a fee (about Sh100) while they ride in a train to the city.

The Kenyan government will finance the upgrade with the support of the World Bank.