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Kenya marks 1st anniversary of SGR passenger train amid smooth operation

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-06-01 09:36
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A train leaves the Nairobi terminus of Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 31, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

NAIROBI -- Kenya on Thursday marked the first anniversary since the launch of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train service amid smooth operations that has endeared it to regular travelers, entrepreneurs and tourists.

Senior Kenyan government officials, Chinese diplomats and executives from the SGR contractor China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), graced the occasion to mark one year since operationalization of the modern commuter train service dubbed "Madaraka Express".

According to James Macharia, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure, the SGR train has in the last one year revolutionized movement of people, goods and services in the country.

"From the onset, Madaraka Express has always strived to lower the cost of transport and make it more affordable, convenient and reliable for Kenyans to travel for business and leisure," Macharia said in a speech read on his behalf by the Managing Director of Kenya Railways Corporation, Atanas Maina.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 31, 2017 launched the commuter train service to run through the 480km SGR connecting the capital Nairobi to the port city of Mombasa.

China Road and Bridge Corporation implemented the mega infrastructure project that is deemed an early result of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

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