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China-built railway line in Kenya marks first anniversary

By Edith Mutethya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-06-01 10:59

Local performers in traditional Kenyan clothes dance to celebrate the anniversary. [Photo by Liu Hongjie/chinadaily.com.cn]

The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway built and operated by China Road and Bridge Cooperation (CRBC), a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), on Thursday marked its first passenger service anniversary since its launch in May 31, 2017.

Also known as Madaraka Express, the railway line has transported more than 1.3 million passengers, with the demand increasing daily.

The service's uptake is largely attributed to the numerous benefits it holds over alternative modes of transport such as comfort of the coaches and the reduced travel time between the port city and Nairobi which averages 5.5 hours.

In his speech read by Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina during a celebratory event held at Nairobi Terminals, James Macharia, the cabinet secretary, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, hailed the one year operations as having surpassed expectations with the future looking brighter.

"The service has presented new opportunities for Kenyans by creating jobs and technology transfer while helping in navigating transport challenges which had partly hindered Kenya from fully realizing its domestic potential," he said.

Macharia said the service has positively impacted the tourism industry by encouraging growth of domestic tourism.

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