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BITTER HEART NEVER REST
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Kenya plans upgrade of Nairobi's commuter rail network

By: Creamer Media Reporter
15th April 2009






Kenya signed a joint venture agreement with infrastructure development trust InfraCo on Wednesday for an 8 billion shilling upgrade and expansion of Nairobi's decrepit commuter railway system.
The London-based private infrastructure development trust will undertake a feasibility study, which is expected to cost up to $5-million.
State-owned Kenya Railways said the deal will be completed by 2012. Private consortium Rift Valley Railways' five-year concession agreement to manage passenger rail service ends in late 2011.
"We want to modernise the infrastructure, improve the rail quality, build new stations and halls, and then we will be providing infrastructure that encourages other transport mode interactions such as park-and-ride," Kenya Railways Managing Director Nduva Muli said.
Muli said the project will expand the network to cover 170 km (106 miles), up from 61 km currently, and the railway plans to introduce 196 Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) carriages, which will cut occupancy rates from more than 200 percent to about 80 percent.
Kenya Railways said the city's trains currently carry about 19,000 people a day on 41 carriages, bringing in 475,000 shillings.
People who take the train to work are squashed inside old and run down carriages if they are lucky -- others must hang precariously from car doors. Most Kenyans living in the capital city use minibuses, which are often badly driven and poorly maintained.
Once the project is completed the system is expected to carry more than 90,000 passengers and bring in more than 7.3 million shillings daily.
"There is a viable business case for the implementation of high quality commuter systems in Nairobi and the environs," Muli said during the signing ceremony with InfraCo.
A dedicated rail line for passenger trains between Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport will also come as a relief to travellers.
Currently, the road to the airport is often so jammed with traffic that people have to leave hours early to make their flights.
"That (new rail line) will mean we'll have a very quick service without interruption or having to stop for passing trains between the airport and the city," he said.
Muti said the feasibility study, design, procurement of contractors and bringing investors on board will take about 24 months, after which infrastructure and rolling stock upgrades will begin and last another 18 months, in time for the handover from Rift Valley Railways (RVR).
Both Kenya and Uganda have said that RVR, which has had concessions to operate the railways in both countries since 2006, has failed to improve their networks, which are more than 100 years old.
 

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State firm signs deal to revamp railway services



Thanks pule. :cheers: Another source.


By 2012, travelling between the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Nairobi’s central business district could take about 17 minutes at a frequency of every 30 minutes.

Also set to ease is travelling between Nairobi and Thika, Nakuru, Athi River and towns in between that are currently served by the railway line.

That, though, will only be possible if the Kenya Railways Corporation is able to carry out its first successful project since the railway line was constructed over 105 years ago.

And alive to its past record, the State corporation has retained the services of InfraCo - a company owned by the World Bank and six other international donor agencies - to carry out a feasibility study and implement the project over the next four years.

By then, the current contract giving Rift Valley Railways (RVR) exclusive rights to manage and operate passenger train services in Nairobi will have expired, opening it up to competition.

RVR will, however, retain exclusive rights to manage and operate cargo train services, which it was awarded for 25 years.

On Wednesday, the two - Kenya Railways and InfraCo - signed a joint development agreement to upgrade and expand the commuter rail transport services in Nairobi and its environs.

The project, estimated to cost between Sh8 billion and Sh12 billion, will see construction of a new railway line connecting JKIA and the city centre.

More suitable

It will also entail replacement of the current locomotive trains with Diesel Electric Multiple Units said to be more suitable and efficient for use as passenger carriers.

InfraCo will fund the initial cost of the project and will recoup the money by selling its interest to the private sector if the project becomes successful.

If it fails, the money used will be written off as a grant to the Kenyan Government, meaning Kenya Railways bears no risk in the implementation of project.

“InfraCo’s willingness to take such a huge risk should tell you that the project is highly viable and has a great chance of success,” said Kenya Railways managing director Nduva Muli.

The other six donor agencies that jointly own InfraCo with the World Bank are Swedish International Development Agency, United Kingdom Department for International Development, Swiss State Secretariat for Foreign Affairs, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Irish AID and Austrian Development Agency.

If successful, the project will increase the current carrying capacity of the rail from 19,000 to 100,000 passengers per day.

Together with other revenue generating avenues that the project will create, the State corporation will see its income rise to over Sh7 million per day up from the current less than Sh500,000 in the same period.



http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/-/1006/560592/-/j017njz/-/index.html
 

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sounds good. Intercity transport is another problem that large urban areas in Africa have.

Commuter rail can decrease pollution also by providing an alternative to cars.

very good project.
 

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BITTER HEART NEVER REST
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm excited with this project and I couln't help but post it. Kenya is going the right direction in all aspects. Well done.
 

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good news.

and why not reconstructing the road to airport if it is so overloaded. it is not too long to be very expensive.
^^
Its already being expanded but from the look of things, it won't solve the problem. Nairobians buy more cars faster than the roads get built.
 

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I didn't know that Nairobi had a commuter rail system. If it is upgraded and expanded, it should be more extensive than it is now. If only there were plans for a light rail system for the city.
 
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KR moves to reclaim grabbed reserve

Whenever a train rattles past the shanties of Mashimoni in Kibera slum, the dwellers feel a small earth tremor. Those who work next to the rail line merely pause while those walking on the tracks skip off and wait for the rolling mass to go on its way.



Mashimoni is a few kilometres from the sections where dwellers regularly uproot the tracks whenever they are displeased. But circumstances could soon change radically for Mashimoni and seven other villages through which the rail line runs.

On March 21, Kenya Railways published a notice urging those living on railway reserve land countrywide to pull down their structures and leave. The land in question is 100 feet on either side of the tracks. KR said encroachers should leave in 30 days or be evicted. The company also said it intended to take back land reserved for railway stations, quarries, and watering points.

In places like Kibera where pressure on land is so high that toilets have been converted into houses, this could have immense repercussions. In Mashimoni, villagers said they were yet to see the notice and asked where KR suggested they move.

Others, like 36-year-old Aggrey Guvego, live and make a living off railway land. He has built 12 rooms that he rents out for Sh1,000 a month each. Mr Guvego has no intention of pulling down his structures any time soon, and says he would like to see anyone try to make him do that.

“These people (KR) have asked us to move before. But where would you go if you were in my situation?” he asked. Mr Guvego said before he built the structures in 2001, he was a criminal operating in Nairobi West and South C areas. Two of his accomplices fell to police bullets.

KR managing director Nduva Muli said the evictions were to make way for new projects on the century-old railway. He said Kenya planned to lay a fresh standard gauge track and that KR is seeking Sh680 billion for the project.

In Nairobi, KR is carrying out surveys on a project to upgrade the urban commuter network by 2012. The project also includes the laying of a three-kilometre track to link Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the existing line at Embakasi.

The project will affect lines serving Dandora, Kahawa, Ruiru, and Thika to the east; Pipeline, Embakasi, Marimbeti, Athi River, and Lukenya on the way to Mombasa; and Kibera, Dagoretti, Kikuyu, Muguga, and Limuru on the way to Nakuru.

KR signed a deal with the financiers, European firm InfraCo, last year and the project is expected to cost Sh13.4 billion. “These projects cannot go ahead with all this encroachment,” said Mr Muli, adding that the investors had insisted that the reserve land be available before they can make any commitments.

The official said KR had anticipated resistance and would ask the provincial administration to educate the affected people. “It is a countrywide problem and everybody knows the extent of the reserve land as, in most cases, it is clearly marked,” he said.

At Mashimoni, residents point out the iron rails demarcating the reserve land. Some are used to support clothes lines while others peek out of many a roof, like chimneys. In Embakasi, a restaurant and a school will have to be pulled down and Kicoshep School in Mashimoni will also be demolished.
 

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..2014 | 8.3 B

Proposed Nairobi CBD Commuter Train Rail Network


Commuter rail services within Nairobi and its environs
There is elastic demand for rail commuter transport within Nairobi and its environs, which continues to grow. There is currently limited operation of rail commuter services on the existing KR infrastructure providing capacity for about 20,000 passenger journeys per day.
According to a study conducted recently, this capacity can be increased to 100,000 passenger journeys following modest investment to modernise and expand the services, and the services can subsequently be operated profitably.

KRC has entered into a joint venture Agreement with InfraCo – a British Company to develop the services. This will involve the following:
  • Extending the services to Limuru, Thika, Lukenya/Kitengela;
  • Building a new branch line from Embakasi Station to JKIA;
  • Building new stations and halts;
  • Introducing modern Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains to replace existing locomotives hauled trains. DEMUs are faster and more comfortable;
  • Introducing new systems of signaling and communication for controlling trains as a safety measure;
  • Introducing advanced training for the operating staff.

The 170 kilometres track development is at Feasibility Study and preliminary design stage and is expected to be rolled out by the year 2014 at a cost of KES 8.3 billion. By the time it will be completed it will be providing high quality direct employment to at least 600 people and many other employment opportunities will be generated at the stations and halts and within the supplies chains. In addition it will go a long way decongesting the City roads.
 

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real gooner
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Proposed Nairobi CBD Commuter Train Rail Network


Commuter rail services within Nairobi and its environs
There is elastic demand for rail commuter transport within Nairobi and its environs, which continues to grow. There is currently limited operation of rail commuter services on the existing KR infrastructure providing capacity for about 20,000 passenger journeys per day.
According to a study conducted recently, this capacity can be increased to 100,000 passenger journeys following modest investment to modernise and expand the services, and the services can subsequently be operated profitably.

KRC has entered into a joint venture Agreement with InfraCo – a British Company to develop the services. This will involve the following:
  • Extending the services to Limuru, Thika, Lukenya/Kitengela;
  • Building a new branch line from Embakasi Station to JKIA;
  • Building new stations and halts;
  • Introducing modern Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains to replace existing locomotives hauled trains. DEMUs are faster and more comfortable;
  • Introducing new systems of signaling and communication for controlling trains as a safety measure;
  • Introducing advanced training for the operating staff.

The 170 kilometres track development is at Feasibility Study and preliminary design stage and is expected to be rolled out by the year 2014 at a cost of KES 8.3 billion. By the time it will be completed it will be providing high quality direct employment to at least 600 people and many other employment opportunities will be generated at the stations and halts and within the supplies chains. In addition it will go a long way decongesting the City roads.
^^damn, if anything happens in Kenya it goes 10 years beyond the schedule period i don't get it, this project was supposed to be operational by 2012 :bash: either way kisumu this information is in the wrong thread :)
 

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^^damn, if anything happens in Kenya it goes 10 years beyond the schedule period i don't get it, this project was supposed to be operational by 2012 :bash: either way kisumu this information is in the wrong thread :)
The commuter rail project was directly linked to the performance of the RVR company since they are the ones who are in charge of the locomotives. Glad the Sheltam saga is over and all partners are now commited to revamping rail transport in the country.
 

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Feasibility study is complete. Cost of this project $250 million. (20 billion Ksh).
Now to wait for tenders and work to begin (clearing the rail reserves has started.)
 

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Sh24bn makeover for Nairobi train transport
Kenya Railways to upgrade current rail system into an efficient modern network.

Daily Nation,
By JUSTUS ONDARI
Posted Monday, July 5 2010 at 14:57

When Nduva Muli talks these days, he gets dreamy. And so the Kenya Railways Corporation managing director spent two hours on Thursday explaining Kenya’s next wonder: a modern rail system that promises to revolutionise commuter life and cargo transport.

“As a country, we have not given due emphasis to our rail transport system and, therefore, mostly go for short-term solutions. Yet railway transport is a long-term and expensive undertaking, which needs careful planning and execution,” he said. “The time has come for us to change this and let us seize the moment.”

Picture this: the Nairobi commuter train will be leaving the station at intervals of 30 minutes and less than 20 minutes between the city centre and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, down from the average 90 minutes it takes to navigate jammed city roads.

The trains will pick and drop passengers at trendy stations between 5am and 9pm. The three phase project will cut commuting time by more than half. For instance, it will 45-50 minutes from the city centre to Thika, 50 minutes to Limuru and 35-40 minutes to Athi River/Lukenya compared to the present unpredictable travel, which takes an hour for the shortest distance in the best case scenario.


While the current train moves five million passengers per year, which translates to about 20,000 passengers per day, the proposed rail will haul 60 million passengers per year or 200,000 passengers per day upon completion at a cost of Sh24 billion ($300 million). Countries aspiring to ease city transport have adopted this model, and India has been the latest with its recent upgrade of Mumbai commuter transport. Prof Evaristus Irandu, a transport expert, says this could help decongest city roads.

“Commuter train is a good mode of transport because one train could carry 4,500-5,000 passengers per trip, which is the capacity of about 100 buses,” said Irandu, an associate professor at the University of Nairobi’s department of Geography and Environmental Studies. Conceived in 1992 as a knee-jerk reaction to a strike by matatus, the project began in April 2009 when the corporation signed a joint development agreement with InfraCo, a donor-funded infrastructure development company.

The company, which shoulders much of the upfront costs and risks of early stage development, thereby reducing the entry costs for private infrastructure developers, gave the corporation a grant of Sh320 million to meet the costs. The first phase of the project, which was allocated Sh600 million in the 2009/10 budget for feasibility studies, will involve the rehabilitation of about 160km of the existing rail system within Nairobi.

The project will also involve the construction of 7km of a new track to JKIA’s Unit 3, and rehabilitation or construction of stations and other facilities along the network. The government has allocated Sh1.9 billion in this year’s budget to finance this.


“We are soon starting to upgrade the track ourselves because we have the expertise,” said Mr Muli. “Subject to getting approvals from the Nairobi City Council, we plan to procure contractors to start building the stations by latest December this year.” The stations, which will have shopping centres, car parks and bus stations, will be constructed in Embakasi Village, Makadara, Buru Buru, Mwiki, Kibera and Githurai. The station planned on Mombasa Road near Syokimau will have parking for 1,000 vehicles.

The track upgrade and the new stations, which will expand social and economic opportunities for city residents besides introducing efficient transport, is expected to be complete by late 2011 or early 2012. “The current track, which is underutilised, is sufficient in terms of its gauge because it can provide us with fairly good speeds for passenger transport of 70-80km.

If it were freight trains, then we could need the wider gauge track for more speed, stability and capacity to haul larger weights,” said the KRC managing director. Even with increased vandalism on some sections, especially in Kibera where residents uproot the rail whenever they protest, he ruled out relocating the line. “We need the people of Kibera because they are our passengers,” he said.

To wean them off the vice, Kenya Railways has received Sh880 million under the Relocation Action Plan funded by the World Bank to build a wall along the railway line and construct stalls on the land side of the wall to be leased out to residents. They will also put up houses away from the line to accommodate those living close to the track and provide them with community centres, water and waste management facilities.

But there are those who feel the corporation and the government could be biting more than they can chew with such an ambitious project. “We need the metro rail. But I am not sure we can afford it. Also I feel some of our people may not be able to pay the high fares needed, a situation that raises the question of sustainability,” says Mr Edwins Mukabana, the managing director of Kenya Bus Service Management Ltd.

Only the city centre-JKIA route may be economical, he said, explaining that the Thika route would face serious competition from “another fast track” in the form of PSVs after the expansion of Thika Road. “It may not be the best option because rail transport transports only 15 per cent of the total commuters while the rest use buses,” he said.

Prof Irandu disagrees. “If the overloading of the trains we see whenever there is a matatu crisis is anything to go by, rail transport is a mass capacity and cheap mode of transport ideal for the low income and congested areas like Kibera, Dandora and Umoja,” he says. The project will be a public private partnership, where the government will own, upgrade and maintain the track, stations and the signalling system, while the private sector operates the rolling stock.

“If I may use the railway transport language, we will own the track while the private sector owns the wheel. Simply put, it is like we are building a road and the private sector will buy the matatus to operate on that road,” he said. To finance part of the project, Kenya Railways is seeking approval to float a Sh16 billion bond.

“It has worked in the UK and that is why Richard Branson has Virgin trains,” he said. It is easier for the private sector to obtain equity and debt financing for rolling stock as opposed to raising money for fixed infrastructure like a railway line. And experts can’t agree more. “With the help of a metropolitan transport authority, all transport systems compliment each other rather than competing against each other,” says Mr Mukabana of Kenya Bus, “such that you can use one ticket to board a train and a bus.”

The system will be replicated in Mombasa and Kisumu. “We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the local authorities of Mombasa and we have contacted those around Kisumu,” said Mr Muli.
 
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