20 Jun

Nairobi to Mombasa high-speed railway opens

East Africa is now more accessible than ever. After two years of construction, Kenya‘s largest infrastructure project since independence, a $3.8 billion Chinese-built high speed railway, is up and running.

It’s around 300 miles long, connecting the port city of Mombasa to the capital of Nairobi. Built by China Road and Bridge Corporation and 90 percent financed by China Eximbank, it is the largest infrastructure project since independence in 1963.

It’s named the Madaraka Express, after the day Kenya attained self rule. Speaking at its launch, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta referenced the country’s colonial British railway — known as the “Lunatic Express” — built more than a century ago, saying: “Today 122 years later, despite again a lot of criticism, we now celebrate, not the Lunatic Express but the Madaraka Express, that will begin to reshape the story of Kenya for the next 100 years. I am proud to be associated with this day.”

Read more: East Africa’s railway renaissance – CNN.com

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