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Kenya Railways suspends city commuter rail service for 11 days

Nairobi rail commuters will from Thursday not be able to access the service to various destinations in the capital city for more than 10 days as part of scaling down the service during the festive season.

This is after Kenya Railways suspended the operation of the Nairobi Commuter rail service to Ruiru, Embakasi, Kikuyu and Syokimau between December 24, 2020 and January 3, 2021.

However, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) express service and the Madaraka express passenger service and the commuter link to and from the SGR terminus will remain operational during the festive season.

The same will apply to Nairobi to Nanyuki Rail service which has been enhanced to accommodate increased demand by passengers traveling during the festive season.

“We wish to notify our commuters that the Nairobi Commuter Rail Services to Ruiru, Embakasi, Kikuyu and Syokimau will be suspended from December 24, 2020 till January 3, 2021,” said the notice by Kenya Railways.

Last week, Kenya Railways announced it had slashed by half fare charges for commuters using rail service between JKIA and the city centre for the next three months.

The Nairobi commuter rail service was launched early last month by President Uhuru Kenyatta with 11 refurbished Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) in operation.

The DMU service serves different routes across the capital city with rail passengers paying Sh100 for every trip using the revamped service.

The routes include Embakasi Village, Pipeline, Donholm Railway Stations, Syokimau and Kikuyu, which were upgraded last month.

The upgraded routes will later be joined by seven new stations including Umoja, Kitengela, Thika, Kibera, Mbagathi Way, Kenyatta and Strathmore universities and Thogoto.

The new stations, according to Kenya Railways, will also operate on the “park and ride” model currently being used at the Syokimau, Imara Daima and Makadara stations.

There are currently commuter train services on Nairobi-Imara Daima-Syokimau route, Nairobi – Githurai – Mwiki – Kahawa – Ruiru route, Nairobi-Embakasi route and Nairobi – Kibera – Kikuyu route.

The project, which is part of the Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Master Plan, is aimed at carrying out a modernisation and expansion of underutilised railway transport to reduce congestion on city roads by reducing over-reliance on road transport.