On November 10th, 2020, the revitalized Nairobi Commuter Trains Railway Service was unveiled. This service underwent significant infrastructure changes aimed at modernizing and expanding its components.
The upgrade primarily focused on constructing new stations and modernizing existing ones, acquiring Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs), refurbishing passenger coaches, rehabilitating locomotives and rolling stock, and planning the overall network rehabilitation for commuter rail services.
The Goal of the Commuter Service
The envisioned goal of the Nairobi Commuter Trains Railway service is to enhance the level of service for passengers, ensure operational safety, and reduce train transit time. Some of the outstanding features of the service include the availability of ‘Park & Ride’ facilities, ample security with CCTV cameras, an automated ticketing system, comfortable coaches, and the inclusion of a Nairobi Commuter Railway Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT).
To complement the commuter services, Kenya Railways has introduced an integrated transport system that seamlessly connects rail and road transportation. This involves the implementation of a scheduled Bus Rapid Transport System (BRT) that facilitates the movement of commuters to and from the Nairobi Central Railway Station, Central Business District, Upperhill, and Westlands.
Nairobi Railway City: Designing a Futuristic Passenger Experience
The Nairobi Railway City is an iconic multi-modal urban development spanning 425 acres and located between Haile Sellasie Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Landhies Road, and Bunyala Road. Last year, the government unveiled the master plan for the proposed Nairobi Railway City, aiming to expand and alleviate congestion in the Central Business District.
The strategic positioning of the Nairobi Central Railway Station area makes it an ideal nerve center for the Nairobi Multimodal Transport System. The vision includes a world-class new Central Railway Station that incorporates mixed-use commercial developments, hotels, and intermodal facilities. Aside from boosting revenue, the Railway City project aims to:
- Regenerate the area surrounding Nairobi Central Railway Station into a modern Railway City.
- Create a livable and sustainable urban space.
- Establish a Transit Oriented Development (ToD) to support ridership for the Nairobi Commuter Rail.
- Develop a Transport Hub with multi-modal transport facilities.
- Expand the southern area of Nairobi’s CBD.
- Present an iconic development that positions Nairobi as a leading global city.
Nairobi Commuter Trains Routes
The Commuter Rail Services were introduced in Nairobi in May 1992 following a series of Matatu strikes that severely disrupted commuter services in the city. Currently, there are five operational commuter routes:
- Commuter to Embakasi: Nairobi – Embakasi Village (13km)
- Commuter to Syokimau: Nairobi – Syokimau (16Km)
- Ruiru Eagle: Nairobi – Ruiru (36Km)
- Kahawa Cheetah: Nairobi – Kahawa (29 Km)
- Kukuyu Bufallo: Nairobi – Kikuyu (30 Km)
Additionally, there is a train service to Nairobi Terminus, connecting the city to the SGR LINK.
The Nairobi Commuter Rail Bus Service
The Nairobi Commuter Rail Bus Service provides a convenient connection to the city center, offering a safe, efficient, and reliable travel option for everyday commuters. This service boasts the following exceptional features:
- Dedicated parking spaces at all stations to facilitate the ‘Drop & Ride’ and ‘Park & Ride’ options.
- Enhanced security measures with CCTV cameras and proper lighting.
- Advertising space for businesses.
- An automated ticketing system for seamless boarding.
- Capacity to accommodate 30,000 passengers per day.
- Comfortable coaches for a pleasant travel experience.
With these advancements, the Nairobi Commuter Rail and Bus Services aim to revolutionize transportation, providing the people of Nairobi with an efficient and modernized commuting experience.
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