Six kilometre rail to connect Syokimau station with JKIA

Thursday June 21 2012

The front view of the Syokimau Railway Station that is under construction on May 29, 2012. A 6.5 kilometre railway line is set to be built to connect the new station with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. SALATON NJAU

The front view of the Syokimau Railway Station that is under construction on May 29, 2012. A 6.5 kilometre railway line is set to be built to connect the new station with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. SALATON NJAU  

By LUCAS BARASA [email protected]

A 6.5 kilometre railway line is set to be built to connect the new Syokimau Railway Station with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Already, a 2.2 km branch line has been constructed, linking the Nairobi-Mombasa line to the new station.

According to a plan from the Ministry of Transport on the development of Nairobi Commuter Rail Services, obtained by nation.co.ke, when completed the Nairobi-JKIA rail will measure 21 km.

A rail over road crossing for Mombasa road is to be built for the Syokimau-JKIA for the benefit of pedestrians using the busy road.  

The Ministry of Transport said an elevated crossing was considered after the idea of the underground pass was abandoned due to its high cost -- it was estimated to cost Sh3.2 billion.

The elevated cross over is expected to cost Sh1.6 billion.

A rail station is to be located inside JKIA. The airport line design is in progress with trains terminating at Unit 3 for easy access by arriving passengers, ease connection to the departure unit and possibility of developing commercial centre around the station.

Taste of train service

On May 29, Transport minister Amos Kimunya had a taste of the train service that is meant to decongest Mombasa Road and ease access to the city.

Mr Kimunya, Transport permanent secretary Cyrus Njiru, Kenya Railways (KR) managing director Nduva Muli and chairman Jeremiah Kianga travelled in a refurbished train that targets 20,000 new passengers daily.

Currently, KR handles 50,000 passengers daily.

The Syokimau Railway Station -- the first intercity connection train station with all necessary amenities – is nearly complete.

The railway station, which will also have a major shopping mall, targets commuters from Syokimau, Kitengela, Athi River, Machakos and Mombasa.

The station will enable commuters get to the Central Business District (CBD) in 22 minutes as
opposed to the usual two hours they spend stuck in traffic jams.

The Syokimau Interchange Station will feature automatic ticketing, passenger information within coaches and in station, passenger entertainment and advertising, ample car park targeting park and ride passengers, shops and restaurants, half hourly trains and bus connection to JKIA.

KR is expected to initially start with locomotives hauled coaches, interim diesel multiple units, then move to long term electric multiple units.

There will be designs and construction of infrastructure to take the electrification into account in future. The Nairobi Railway Station is currently re-modelling for a new ticketing system.

KR said trains will be picking up commuters at intervals of 30 minutes. The trains are expected to travel at a speed of 100km/hr.

The proposed commuter rail transport upgrade is expected to decongest Mombasa and Outering roads while greatly easing access to JKIA and enhancing the status of Nairobi as a regional transit hub.

In figuresIntention
400 millionTotal cost of the Syokimau Railway Station
1.6 billionElevated crossing on Mombasa Road to connect
Syokimau Station with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
1 billionBudgetary allocation for upgrade for the Thika-Nairobi commuter
railway system.
3.2 billionProject to relocate families living near the railway line in Kibera and Mukuru slums.
2,000Number of parking slots at the station
30 minutesInterval trains will pick up commuters
100 kilometre per hourSpeed of the new commuter train
160 kilometresStretch of existing railway line that will undergo repairs
3,000 Number of units to house relocated families
9,000Number of families to benefit through modern houses and business stalls.