Nairobi Commuter Rail Service (NCRS)

Project Type
Commuter Rail



160 km








132000 ppd

Project Start



Under Construction


KShs. 24 B


Kenya Govt, KRC

Contract Type


The Nairobi Commuter Rail Service (NCRS) development is part of Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Master Plan. The project aims to modernize and expand the railway network serving Nairobi city. The NCRS operates between the Nairobi Central Railway Station and Ruiru, Kikuyu, Embakasi and Syokimau. The modernization and expansion will provide passengers with safe, reliable and affordable transport services in and around Nairobi city.

The project involves the upgrading of approximately 100 km of the existing metre-gauge rail network, the construction of 5 km of new track from Syokimau station to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the rehabilitation and/or construction of stations and other facilities, installation of a new signalling system and procurement of rolling stock.

The JKIA airport rail link will be contracted to French companies, with construction expected to begin in March 2021. Initially planned as a PPP project, the Kenyan government abandoned the PPP route, rejecting a bid fronted by a French consortium of Egis Group (leader), Sogea-Satom, Alstom, Thales and Transdev.


Main Contractor

No awards yet.


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Recent Developments


  • 128m soft loan from the French Treasury.
  • 1.5m grant from Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

This will finance the construction of a new 5-km rail track from Syokimau SGR station to the JKIA airport and the upgrading of the 17-km metre-gauge rail track from Nairobi Central Railway station to Syokimau station.

Kenya Railways and Spanish Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca (SFM) signed a EUR 9.6 million contract for the supply of 11 second-hand diesel multiple units (DMUs) which will operate the Nairobi commuter rail network.

The metre-gauge Class 61 DMUs were built by CAF between 1995 and 2003.

The value of the contract includes 11 two-car DMUs, five spare coaches, spare parts, wheel profiling and training. The remaining economic useful life of the reconditioned DMUs is estimated at 20-25 years.

President Mwai Kibaki launched the Syokimau Railway Station, marking the completion of phase one of the project aimed at easing traffic congestion in the city. This phase also involved the construction of a 2.2km railway line connecting Syokimau Railway Station with the Embakasi route.

The modern station was built by El Noor General Contractors Ltd while the laying of new track and refurbishment of existing track was jointly undertaken by KRC and Rift Valley Railways (RVR).

KRC and InfraCo issue an Expression of Interest (EOR) seeking a rail operator for the commuter rail system.

KRC and InfraCo Africa signed a Joint Development Agreement which was subsequently approved by the Government of Kenya in 2011.

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