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Nairobi Railway project to begin in two months

UK Prime Minister G7 and G20 Sherpa Jonathan Black unveils the final design of the Nairobi Railway yesterday as Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga (left) looks on. Also present is  Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohammed Badi. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Construction works at the new Nairobi Railway City and Public Realm will start in two months.

It will have eight lines and an additional four lines for freight services once it is completed in two years.

Speaking at Serena Hotel during the unveiling of the final design by representatives of United Kingdom and Kenyan governments, Transport Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge said the government is committed to ensure there is a seamless implementation of the project.

 “I challenge the multi-agency team charged with the responsibility of seeing the project comes to fruition to stop from too much talking to work and ensure the project is completed on time so that Kenyans can benefit from the fruits of the projects,” said Njoroge.

The project, which will be constructed at a cost of Sh27.9 billion, was designed by UK firm Atkins Global. It was unveiled by the UK Prime Minister’s G7 and G20 Sherpa Jonathan Black.

During the event, the government also revealed it is negotiating for the provision of up to Sh220 billion of UK Export Finance for projects in Kenya, with the new central station likely to be a first beneficiary.

The event was also attended by UK Deputy High Commissioner Julius Court, Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General, Mohammed Badi,  Director for Public Investment Management at the National Treasury Stanley Kamau and Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga.

The proposed station is part of the wider  Nairobi Railway City redevelopment programme that is being championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and supported by the UK government.

It is aimed at redeveloping the 425 acres of the central Nairobi in a bid to ease congestion in the city and spur economic growth.

 “Great cities have always been engines of growth and innovation, and today’s big challenge is how they can also become cleaner, greener and smarter so that they are great places for people to live and work in,” said Mr Black.

He added: “This is a challenge across the world, from Nairobi to London. That is why it is such a pleasure to be here today for the launch of the design for the new central railway station and public realm that will sit at the heart of Nairobi Railway City.”

Court said the Nairobi Railway City is a flagship project in the UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership which was agreed by President Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the Africa Investment Summit in 2020.

“Today’s event reflects the growing strength and integration of the UK’s infrastructure offer to Kenya and the UK’s commitment to the ‘Build Back Better World and Clean Green Initiative’ aimed at delivering investment into clean and green infrastructure,” said Mr Court.

  Design Director for Atkins, Chris Crombie said the Nairobi Railway City is a hugely important, flagship project in the heart of the city and the gateway to East Africa.

Crombie said the railway city project will support the Kenyan government in its commitment to deliver jobs, as well as green and sustainable infrastructure that drives regeneration.

The Nairobi Railway City is expected to be a world-class, climate-resilient project delivering transport capacity to sustain future growth and lay the foundations for a Green City of the Future.

The deal was first agreed between President Uhuru and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a meeting in London two years ago.

Railway infrastructure will take the lion’s share at Sh17.6 billion.

The first phase includes the Central Railway Station and a commercial complex with two towers of 5,000 square metres each.