About 100 kilometers away from Nairobi railway station, the Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway (SGR), runs in parallel with the Mombasa-Nairobi section of the meter-gauge railway constructed during the colonial era more than 100 years ago.
The passenger train on the newly finished railway runs at about 120 km per hour, while the operating speed of the old railway line is less than 40 km per hour.
“The less-than-five-hour train trip is more comfortable than by car which takes over 10 hours between Mombasa and Nairobi. The train ticket costs less than half the price of an air ticket and the train is safer,” said Richard, a passenger on the train.
“The train is safe, convenient, comfortable and beautiful,” said Hannah, a 100-year-old lady, who had travelled on the old narrow railway for many times.
In the first week of its operation, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway company sold nearly 14,000 tickets, among which 2,000 were collected as souvenirs by locals.
The 472-kilometer-long rail line, which stretches from the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi, capital of Kenya, is the biggest infrastructure project in the country since its independence in 1963.