NAIROBI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese contractor of the extended Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) on Wednesday announced that it has started laying tracks and rail sleepers as implementation of the mega infrastructure project gathers steam.
A train leaves the Nairobi terminus of Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on May 31, 2018. (File photos: Xinhua)
According to the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the laying of tracks and rail sleepers is being carried out from the Rift Valley county of Narok toward the capital of Nairobi.
The 120-km Nairobi-Naivasha line is the first of the three segments that make up the second phase of the SGR project that ends in Malaba town located at the Kenya-Uganda border.
Steve Zhao, the CCCC Kenya SGR Project spokesman, said erection of t-beams and laying of the rail sleepers from Nairobi will be handled by section office number 7 while section office number 6 will oversee a similar process from Narok.
Zhao said construction of the railway stations has been ongoing in Ongata Rongai, Ngong and Suswa towns.
"We are also on course to complete the 4.5-km Ngong tunnel in August, the first and longest railway tunnel in the country," he said. Six percent of the modern railway line will consist of three tunnels measuring 7.147 kilometers and it will also have 27 bridges measuring 17.3 kilometers that will account for 14.4 percent of the total project length.
The five counties where the railway line will pass through include Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Nakuru and Narok while five modern stations will be installed along its corridor to ease ferrying of cargo and passengers.
Besides Ngong tunnel, two more tunnels measuring 2.64 kilometers have already been constructed along the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR project that is expected to be completed by June 2019.
The Nairobi-Naivasha SGR project will unleash multiple benefits that include revolutionizing transport of passengers and goods alongside stimulating commerce and industrial growth along its corridor.
Establishment of a special economic zone (SEZ) in the Mai Mahiu/Suswa region will be a key component of this modern railway project.
Cover image: Passengers board a train of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) at the Mombasa Railway Station in Mombasa, Kenya, on June 2, 2018.