The construction of the railway stations was part of the Kes.26 Billion Nairobi Transport Improvement Plan ie part of the larger Nairobi Metropolitan Services Improvement Project (NAMSIP .
The respective cost of construction for the three railway stations are: Makadara Station Kes. 455 Million; Imara Daima Station Kes. 400 Million; Syokimau Station – Kes. 200 Million.
One of the saddest thing I observed is that the commuter train passengers who use the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) commuter train services to Ruiru and Embakasi Village are not allowed into the Makadara Station even if it is raining. The RVR trains also don’t stop inside the stations.
What benefit is the station if the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) doesn’t allow its concession partner of the Rift Valley Consortium trains to use the newly built railways station?
The newly-constructed station was supposed to be operated by Rift Valley Railways (RVR) — as part of a two-year concession deal with Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), yet, as a person who has used the RVR trains before, during and after the construction of the Makadara Station, the RVR trains have never been allowed to use the station i.e. alighting passengers or boarding passengers.
RVR is 80 per cent owned by Cairo-based Qalaa Holding, which won a 25-year contract in November 2006 to run the 2,352km Kenya-Uganda railway for the cargo business, and a five-year contract for the passenger unit.
The Railways concession agreement between the RVR and KRC which is supposed to end in 2031 run into turbulence early this year as KRC threatened to terminate the contract, accusing RVR of not paying concession fees amounting to Kes. 600 Million for the year to December 2016. However, RVR was given more time by the courts.
Early this year, Qalaa Holdings confirmed that it intends to sell its stake in RVR, this just points to the mismanagement of RVR after the concession agreement.
In the past, Kenya railways was the pride of Kenya and would compete with Kenya Airways in terms of being a great place to be employed. But something has always been amiss about Kenya parastatals. Most have gone down and the government seems to care less.