The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line is set to be launched at the end of this month by President Uhuru Kenyatta in a ceremony to be attended by senior officials from the Chinese Government.
The State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said in a press conference that China, the primary investor of the project will be sending a delegation comprising members of its State Council who will include two ministers and a vice-minister for the launch.
The launch will take place at the container terminal before the train commences travels the following day. The president will also make a number of stopovers at the newly built terminuses which include Mariakani, Miasenyi, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali and Athi River before making his way to the capital.
Funding for the extension of the railway line from Naivasha to Kisumu city was secured from the Export-Import Bank of China by President Kenyatta. The government intends to build a new port in the area.
This is after the President reached new agreements on new partnership terms with China, some of which include financial support in terms of funding for the Exim Bank of China for the next phase of the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu.
According to a rough estimation by the Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC), the Nairobi- Naivasha section of the SGR is projected to cost about $ 1.5 billion. However, official figures for the Naivasha- Kisumu section are yet to be released.
Although the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development is yet to disclose how much it would cost passengers to travel between Nairobi and Mombasa aboard the SGR train, the ministry has hinted in the recent past that it is likely to cost more or less the amount passengers pay travelling on Public Service Vehicles between the two cities.