State rolls out Mombasa commuter railway worth Sh217 billion

The commuter railway is part of a planned inner city railway networks project.

The Kenya Railways Company (KRC) on Tuesday invited bids from local and international firms to provide consulting services for the feasibility studies and design of the proposed railway network, signalling start of the project.

“The government of Kenya has received financing from the World Bank toward the cost of the National Urban Transport Improvement Project (Nutrip) and intends to apply part of the proceeds to develop a Mombasa metropolitan commuter rail plan,” Kenya Railways said in a notice sent to media house.

Interested contractors must submit their bids by 13 June 2017 in order to be considered.

The feasibility study and design is estimated to take about 18 months.

The port city of Mombasa is a crucial trade gateway and also the country’s foremost tourism hotspot. Notorious traffic jams and congested streets have however gridded it to a halt.

The Mombasa–Mariakani section is especially a headache for commuters and remains a bottleneck to traffic flow in and out of the city.

Increased cargo to and from the port of Mombasa and increased traffic volumes is partly to blame for the traffic snarl up.

This commuter railway comes on the backdrop of another recent government infrastructure development, early this month the Kenya Ferry service (KFS) unveiled plans to construct a Sh5.5 billion cable car project at the Likoni crossing linking Mombasa Island and the mainland.

Ongoing construction of feeder roads and highways in the city is also expected to ease congestion and enhance connectivity.

The new commuter railway project is part of a planned multibillion-shilling inner city railway networks for Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret.

Railway stations upgrade and construction of direct rail links with major airports in the three counties would be done at a cost of Sh217 billion according to estimates by Kenya Railways.

This announcement comes just days before the first phase of the SGR is ready for operation, and is expected to be launched on May 31 by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Once complete Mombasa will be the only city in Kenya which boosts all the four means of transport; air, roads, rails and ferry.


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