Construction of the Sh345 billion Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway is well underway and on schedule for June 2017 completion, according to the Kenya Railways.
The project, which kicked off in January, is 90 per cent funded by the Chinese Exim Bank – with Kenya financing the remaining 10 per cent.
On completion, the standard gauge railway will offer the following economic and social benefits:
1.) Reduce congestion at the port of Mombasa; thus securing the port as the preferred facility in the region.
2.) Reduced cost of transportation in the region; thereby making it an attractive investment destination.
3.) Contribute to the GDP growth of at least 1.5 per cent during construction and subsequent operation.
4.) Reduce wear and tear on highways; hence reduce maintenance cost.
5.) Reduce the number of heavy trucks on the road. This is expected to reduce the number of accidents; hence making the roads safer for human traffic.
6.) Speed up industrialisation through cheaper transport and the establishment of new industries to service the new railway.
7.) Protect the environment through reduced carbon emission.