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KENYA-RAILWAYS/
RTS2ZDUJ
January 22, 2020
The soporific buzz of bees fills the abandoned train station at Kiu, a two-hour drive from Kenya's capital...
KIU, Kenya
The Wider Image: Some Kenyans say Chinese-built railway leaves them in the dust
The soporific buzz of bees fills the abandoned train station at Kiu, a two-hour drive from Kenya's capital Nairobi. Rusting rail sleepers lay on the grass outside; a slender snake slithers away after footsteps disturb his sunbaked snooze. A new Chinese-built rail track lies about 500 metres away from the old colonial-era railway station, which closed down in 2012. But the new high-speed trains thunder through without stopping; Kiu is just a dusty blur glimpsed through the window. Residents of this eastern Kenya town serving 6,000 people, feel bereft without their station and the old railway line, which they depended on to get to work, or the nearest hospitals. Travelling by road is a slow and costly alternative. Opened in 2017, the new $3.3 billion railway is part of China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a multi-trillion dollar series of infrastructure projects upgrading land and maritime trade routes between China and Europe, Asia and Africa. The new railway sliced travel times in half for passengers and cargo travelling between the capital Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa. The non-express service takes just over four hours to make six stops but only runs once a day, a steep reduction from the 46 stops of the old service that ran twice a day. REUTERS/Baz Ratner SEARCH "MOMBASAÐNAIROBI TRAIN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching Text: KENYA-RAILWAYS/ TEMPLATE OUT
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