President Mwai Kibaki has launched the recently built Syokimau Railway Station, marking the completion of phase one of the Sh24 billion Nairobi urban transport network that is aimed at easing traffic congestion in the city.
The opening of Syokimau Railway Station, the first to be built in Kenya in the last 80 years, marks a major milestone in the history of railway development in Kenya.
“The commencement of rail services in Nairobi and development of a modern railway station at Syokimau will provide safe, reliable, comfortable and affordable rail transport for city residents and visitors,” President Kibaki said during the launch on Tuesday.
The President noted that besides reducing congestion, transit time and travel costs for Kenyans, the Nairobi commuter rail service will also improve the socio-economic welfare of citizens, while enabling Nairobi to remain the regional economic, commercial and business hub in the region.
Syokimau Railway Station has been under construction since 2009 and the facility has been fitted with modern surveillance cameras to enhance security, automatic doors and ticket scanners among other state-of-the-art features.
The project, which was financed by the Kenyan government to the tune of Sh400 million, also involved construction of a 2.2km railway line linking Syokimau Railway Station to the old Embakasi line.
The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) contracted El Noor Construction Ltd to build the station while the laying of new railway tracks and refurbishment of existing tracks was jointly undertaken by the corporation and Rift Valley Railways (RVR).
Syokimau Railway Station is one of the ten stations that KRC plans to build within Nairobi aimed at facilitating easy shuttling of people to and from the city. Other stations will be situated at Imara Daima, Jogoo Road and Makadara among other locations.