Construction Begins On Phase 1 of the Nairobi Railway City In Kenya

The project is part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Plan. 

By Chriselle Moraes on
15th April 2023

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has launched construction works on Phase 1 of The Nairobi Railway City project. The ground-breaking ceremony was held in December 2022 at the Nairobi Central Railway Station. 

The Kenyan government is redeveloping the Nairobi Central Railway Station and converting its surrounding areas into "The Nairobi Railway City" – a multi-modal, transit-oriented, and urban development. The project is part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Plan. 

Designed by UK firm Atkins Global in partnership with local engineering design and management consultancy Howard Humphreys, the main objectives of the Nairobi Railway City project include the creation of a transit hub with multi-modal transport facilities, regeneration of the area around the Nairobi Central Station, expand Nairobi to the Southeast, providing a liveable and sustainable urban space, and an iconic development to position Nairobi as a leading world city and commercial hub.

The project is located on 425 acres of land, of which Kenya Railways owns 292 acres, and is situated between Haile Sellasie Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Landhies Road, and Bunyala Road in Nairobi.

The Nairobi Railway City project is being developed in phases, and is expected to be completed in 2030.

Appearing before the Transport and Infrastructure committee of the Kenyan Parliament on March 7, KRC managing director Philip Mainga, stated that early works and construction of the 80-metre pedestrian bridge linking Kenya Polytechnic and Bunyala road in the Industrial area are currently underway.

Mr Mainga further told the committee that KRC has requested the government of Kenya, through the National Treasury, to help secure financing for the design and construction of the Central Station and Public Square from UK Export Finance (UKEF). "It is expected that the main contractors for works shall have been procured before the end of the first quarter of the financial year 2023/24" he added.

Phase 1 is funded by the UK (through UKEF) and Kenyan governments.

Phase 1 includes the construction of a pedestrian footbridge across the Nairobi railway yard, a new Nairobi Central Railway Station, and a public square. The station will be a multi-modal hub in CBD that will connect the Nairobi commuter rail, three BRT lines, city buses, and non-motorised transport.

Construction works in Phase 1 will also include:

  • securing the railway station and public park site;
  • detailed drainage upgrades within the Nairobi railway yard;
  • a new structural steel locomotive shed planned for the Makadara yard;
  • the relocation of the existing shed at the Nairobi Yard;
  • paving of Kenya Railways’ headquarters driveway and car park.

Wakulima Market will be converted into a park. The Technical University of Kenya will also be turned into a Techno Research and Development Institute, according to the project objectives. 

A residential area will also be established towards Landimawe, a ward in Nairobi, and the Industrial Area. It is expected to accommodate about 28,000 people with mid, affordable, and social housing. There are plans for at least 10,000 affordable housing units on 40 acres of Railway City, a police station, a fire station, and a disaster response centre.  

“The pedestrian footbridge across the Nairobi Railway yard will be all-weather, modern, and will also be convenient for people living with disabilities. We have already begun the construction work. The contractor is already on site, and soon we will begin seeing changes.” said Phillip Mainga, Kenya Railways managing director.  

On completion, the Nairobi Railway City is expected to decongest the central business district by encouraging businesses to shift from the city centre to the new development’s special economic zones.

Top Photo: Entrance to Nairobi Central Railway Station (@WilliamsRuto Twitter handle | William Samoei Ruto | President of The Republic of Kenya)

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