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SGR launches inter-county passenger trains as demand soars | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina [center] speaks during the launching ceremony at Nairobi Terminus of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railways (SGR). Kenya’s ministry of transport on Wednesday launched new inter-county train service of the SGR with the hope of further boosting business and tourism along the new railway. XINHUA PHOTO - LYU SHUAI

SGR launches inter-county passenger trains as demand soars   

By Christine Lagat and Lu Duobao NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s ministry of transport on Wednesday launched new inter-county train service of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) with the hope of further boosting business and tourism along the new railway.

James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, presided over the launch of the inter-county train service that will make stops in seven stations between the Kenyan capital Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa.

Macharia said the launch of an inter-county SGR passenger train service marked a significant milestone in Kenya’s quest to become a transport and logistics hub.

He noted the second component of SGR passenger train service will boost inter-connectivity in Kenya’s hinterland, stimulate investments and revitalize domestic tourism.

The launch of the inter-county train service on the Nairobi-Mombasa line came as demands run high for efficient and fast transport services.

Macharia noted that demand for the passenger train service dubbed Madaraka Express has been on the rise since it was launched by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 31.

“The Madaraka Express has ferried over 350,000 people since its launch five months ago,” Macharia remarked, adding that online booking, enhanced security and construction of access roads will encourage many Kenyans to use the SGR service.

The launch ceremony was also attended by Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa and senior executives from China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

Ambassador Liu said the Nairobi-Mombasa railway dovetails with Beijing’s quest to promote economic progress in the East African Nation as outlined in the Belt and Road Initiative.

“From the very beginning, the SGR has been endowed with a significant role in facilitating the development of Kenya and realization of 2030 vision,” said Liu.

Li Quanhuai, vice president of CRBC, said the launch of an inter-county passenger train service will inject fresh vitality in Kenya’s transport sector and boost economic growth.

“The successful launch of the inter-county passenger train will not only provide more choices for passengers in terms of time and destinations, but also reinforce the population and commodities circulation along the railway as a key driver for Kenyan economy,” said Li.

             

 

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