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New book to feature Kenya Mombasa-Nairobi SGR construction | Coastweek

MOMBASA (Xinhua) -- A new train runs on Kenya's Mombasa-Nairobi Railway. The 480 km railway linking Kenya's largest port city Mombasa to capital Nairobi, was officially launched on May 31, and will be a key infrastructure project that will push forward the East Africa nation's modernization drive, a senior company executive said. XINHUA PHOTO - PAN SIWEI


New book to feature Kenya Mombasa-Nairobi SGR construction

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A book will be published on a Xinhua-produced documentary, which made enormous success by telling the stories of ordinary Kenyan and Chinese builders of Kenya’s landmark railway.

Xinhua News Agency and Enjoy Culture & Media Co., Ltd. signed an agreement in Kenya on Thursday on the publication of "My Railway, My Story," which is based on the documentary depicting the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

Representatives of Xinhua’s Africa Regional Bureau and Enjoy, a subsidiary of Changjiang Publishing & Media, headquartered in China’s Wuhan, inked the document at the Nairobi Terminus of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR.

The book, which will appear in Chinese, English, and French editions, will be largely based on the 90-minute eponymous documentary, which tells behind-the-scene stories from the perspective of ordinary Chinese and Kenyan builders of the SGR, the largest infrastructure project since Kenya’s independence.

A flagship project of China-Kenyan cooperation, the 480-km line has been providing daily passenger services between the Kenyan capital and the port city of Mombasa since its inauguration on June 1.

The making of the three-episode documentary took the Xinhua team and its partners more than two years for field interviewing and post production, with raw footage totaling over 200 hours.

The first two episodes of the documentary, "Bridges" and "Stations," were first screened on Kenya’s major public broadcaster KBC, attracting an estimated 30 million viewers in five days after debut in late May, according to KBC statistics.

The third episode of the documentary, "Roads," came out after the inauguration of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR.

The documentary, initially in English and later rendered into Chinese, French, and Swahili, has since also appeared on TV stations of China, Nigeria and Zambia, and was made available online and on social media platforms.

Wu Zhiqiang, deputy director-general of Xinhua Africa, hailed the book deal as a good start for the two sides’ cooperation in offering all-media services and strengthening strategic transformation and upgrade.

Yang Yunpeng, director of Enjoy Culture & Media, which launched its Kenya presence in July 2016, said the book will be released in early 2018, pledging to work with Xinhua in putting out more media products to enhance the understanding between China and Kenya in particular and Africa in general.

Yao Ming, counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, David Muswii, deputy director of Kenya National Library Service, and Chinese and Kenyan media representatives based in Nairobi also attended the event.

Yang Yi, one of the Xinhua documentary’s directors, said the book would further enhance the documentary’s impact.

"Just like the SGR, ‘My Railway, My Story’ is also a work of cooperation between Chinese and Kenyans," Yang said.

Peterson Gitonga, a duty manager at Nairobi Terminus, at the ceremony hailed the long-term benefits of the railway.

"The Standard Gauge Railway has transformed Kenya in the right direction that has been accepted by many of its citizens," he said.

"For sure the Standard Gauge Railway will remain to be my railway, my story," Gitonga added.


China train maker to provide maintenance services to Kenya railway

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- China’s largest train maker CRRC Corporation confirmed Friday that its subsidiary CRRC Qishuyan, Co., Ltd. has secured a business order for the maintenance of Kenya’s Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

The CRRC subsidiary is to provide maintenance for the 56 passenger, freight, and shunting locomotives running on the railway, which were also delivered by the same company.

Maintenance services will include equipment checks as well as minor and major repairs, CRRC said.

As a model project of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR was constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation and adopted Chinese standards and technology.

China also financed 90 percent of the project.

The 472-km railway linking the Kenyan capital Nairobi and the port of Mombasa has been operating for over 100 days since its opening at the end of May.

Trains on the railway have carried 280,000 passengers so far, according to CRRC.

Kenya pledges action on illegal activities along rail line

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan Railway Corporation (KRC) and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) have vowed to enhance safety along the Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) route to tackle vandalism and encroachment by herders.

The two corporations said in a statement published by the Standard Newspaper on Thursday that action will be taken on individuals who engaged in criminal activities that could jeopardize the safety of the commuters on the SGR passenger train called Madaraka Express.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 31 launched the SGR passenger train amid fanfare and high expectations from Kenyans who were accustomed to the old train service launched by British colonialists a century ago.

The Madaraka Express train service has not only revolutionized transportation but also opened up Kenya’s hinterland to new investments and commerce.

"So far, more than 100 days since the launch, Madaraka Express has moved close to 323,000 passengers, an average of 2,700 per day.

"The most important factor on this service is safety of passengers which requires that the infrastructure and equipment must remain intact at all times," the statement said.

The two corporations condemned criminal elements residing among communities adjacent to the SGR route for involvement in activities that compromised the railway’s safety.

"Such criminal acts include breaking down fences erected along the railway line for grazing livestock or vandalizing railway installations.

"Others have been involved in theft of railway material for disposal as scrap metal," the corporations said.

They added that several suspects have been arrested to answer charges of jeopardizing the safety of the SGR train.

"One criminal is serving a jail term having been convicted by the court while another is still on the run," they said.

The two corporations appealed to the Kenyan public living along the entire SGR corridor to report illegal activities like burglary and vandalism.

"We appeal to all Kenyans to participate in the safeguarding of the SGR line for the benefit of all," the statement concluded.



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