The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) is set to build new mini stations in the densely populated Kitengela, Mlolongo, and Kibera as part of a strategy to take services closer to commuters and lift passenger numbers.
Currently, the three do not have proper connectivity for commuter rail services. The State corporation yesterday invited bids for construction of mini railway stations in Kitengela and Mlolongo townships, which currently have no such facilities within their central business districts. Kibera has three simple halt stations that cannot adequately cater to the thousands of commuters.
The new facilities planned for Kitengela, Mlolongo, and Kibera add to a host of others that KRC targets to build in Nairobi and its satellite towns.
KRC is betting on at least 10 new stations in the city and its environs to win over more commuters forced to use congested roads owing to the remote locations of some stations and frequent breakdowns of its locomotives.
Other upcoming stations are in Kenyatta University, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Satellite in Nairobi, and Mutindwa, Lukenya, and Konza in Machakos.
KRC has been upgrading its infrastructure in Nairobi as it seeks to improve commuter services. President Kenyatta in December 2020, launched the revamped Nairobi Commuter Rail Service (NCRS) and the refurbished Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs). They comprised 11 DMUs and Commuter Rail Buses. The project was part of the Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Master Plan modernisation and expansion of underutilised railway transport to reduce congestion on city roads.
NMS earlier said the mobile units will ease traffic gridlock in the capital by providing alternative means of transport.
The Nairobi Central Railway Station serves as the nerve centre of operations connecting with the DMUs that ply city routes, which include Embakasi Village, Pipeline, and Donholm Railway Stations.
Currently, there are commuter train services on Nairobi – Imara Daima-Syokimau route, Nairobi – Githurai – Mwiki – Kahawa – Ruiru route, Nairobi-Embakasi route, and Nairobi – Kibera – Kikuyu route.
According to Kenya Railways, the NCRS will create an efficient and affordable mass rapid transit transport system for the city as well as integrate rail with other modes of transport in the country.
The project has been developed within the existing railway corridors to provide commuter rail services between Nairobi Railway Station.
Upcoming projects are in Mutuini, Dagoretti Market, Thogoto, Gitaru, Aviation, Kariobangi South, Membley, and Strathmore/Madaraka.