Mombasa-Nairobi railway

(The Belt and Road Initiative)

Updated:2017-04-20 |

Mombasa-Nairobi railway

The 471-kilometer-long Mombasa-Nairobi stretch is the first section of a planned East Africa railway network. Passenger trains will travel at 120 km/hour, while freight trains will run at 80 km/hour and be able to carry 25 million tons per year. Connecting Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, with Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, this will be the first rail link conforming to Chinese standards ever built outside of China. It will also be the first new rail line in Kenya in a century.

The project started in October 2014, and the railway is scheduled to open to traffic on June 1, 2017. Once in service, it will cut the travel time from Mombasa to Nairobi from over ten hours to a little more than four hours.

A long-term masterplan envisions a rail system serving six East African countries, namely – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. This modern network will help promote economic development in East Africa and beyond. Statistics indicate that construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi section has created nearly 30,000 jobs in Kenya and boosted annual GDP growth by 1.5 percent. The cost of movement of goods is expected to be reduced by 40 percent after the completion of this initial project.