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KR seeks partners to build railway cities

NAIROBI, Kenya July 21- The Kenya Railways Corporation (KR) is inviting expressions of interest for the construction of modern railway cities along its major railway stations.

The corporation is on the look for investors interested in putting up shopping malls, office blocks as well as parking bays.

Kenya Railways Managing Director Nduva Muli on Friday said the KR had received three expressions of interest for the projects.

“We have received three expressions of interest which we are currently reviewing. The next step will include structuring a bid process to select the investors,” Mr Muli said.

The State owned institution says it has 200 acres in Nairobi, 110 acres in Mombasa and 75 acres in Kisumu for the development of the multi-purpose cities on the land by way of public private partnerships.

Due to the size and nature of the investment required, the MD said it was expected that the winning investors would break ground by August 2012.

The investment in the projects is estimated at $2.6 billion (Sh234.3 billion), and will provide the railways corporation with an alternative revenue stream to cut down its dependence on government funding.

Mr Muli said he expects the developments to rake in billions for the corporation in land leases, critical to support its heavy financial needs.

“When implemented, the projects will change the face of Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa with significant economic effects not only for us but the investors and the general public,” the MD said.

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However, the major challenge to the projects remain the irregular titles awarded on some of the land in the three cities.

He was speaking during a site visit of the Syokimau station, which is part of the 12 new stations in and around Nairobi Kenya Railways, is constructing as part of the Nairobi Commuter rail service.

The last station to be put up was in 1935 in Butere.

The new terminal is scheduled to be complete by December, and will seek to decongest Nairobi with a 100-kilometer commuter rail line in and around the city at a cost of Sh16 billion offering an alternative mode of transport.

The scope of work involves upgrading and doubling the existing track, building of a new branch line at JKIA and remodeling of existing 10 stations such as Dagoretti, Kibera, Nairobi and Makadara.

The Syokimau station will be connected to Embakasi Railway station by a 2.2 kilometer-track via tunnel under Mombasa road valued to cost Sh3.2 billion.

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