Who is Mr. Phillip Maingi?

Am a results-oriented leader with over 20 years of experience in Railway Operations. I have a strong track record of performance turnaround. I Utilize keen analysis, insights and team approach to drive improvements and implement best practices. I also have superior interpersonal skills, capable of resolving multiple and complex issues and motivate staff to peak performance.

Achievements of Kenya Railway Under you…

Some of the key milestones that KR has achieved under my management include the successful operations of the Nairobi Mombasa Madaraka Express Passenger and Freight services, construction and commissioning of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Phase 2A to Naivasha geared towards opening of Special Economic Zones in support of the manufacturing pillar under the Big Four Agenda, supervision the refitting of Mv- Uhuru, a wagon ferry owned by Kenya Railways which had been lying unattended for the last 11 years and the construction of the Meter Gauge Railway siding to the newly upgraded fuel loading facilities at the Kenya Pipeline Corporation depot in Kisumu. The Kisumu works support the Blue Economy in the region through Lake Victoria Transport Corridors.

As the Managing Director I envisage to ensure the successful operations of the Madaraka Express Passenger and Freight service, rehabilitation of the Metre Gauge Railway (Mombasa- Malaba) and branch lines Nakuru-Kisumu and Thika- Nanyuki Line and rehabilitation of the Nairobi Commuter Rail which seeks to address the transport challenges in Nairobi and the neighboring counties. I will also oversee the repossession of Kenya Railways property that has been grabbed or illegally acquired and ensure a smooth implementation of the ongoing Corporation staff restructuring process.

Implementation Status of SGR in Kenya…

The project is being implemented in phases as follows:-

  • Phase 1: Mombasa-Nairobi (472 km) -100%
  • Phase 2A: Nairobi – Naivasha – (120km) 100%
  • Phase 2B: Naivasha- Kisumu – 262 km. identification of financing Ongoing
  • Phase 2C: Kisumu- Malaba- 107 Km. Identification of financing ongoing

Full implementation of the project?

This will be decided once the financing for phase 2B and 2C have been secured.

Do we expect any subway trains within cities and especially Nairobi as a means to ease congestion?

KR has prepared a commuter Railway Master Plan that has identified new corridors apart from the existing commuter network. These are to be developed progressively. The first phase is revitalization of the existing commuter network with a connection to JKIA. Plans are at an advanced stage for construction of Airport line from Syokimau/Nairobi Terminus.

Currently KR operates commuter services on a network of 90 km. we intend to increase the commuter network to a total of 153 km (Core Network). This involves extension of the commuter services to Limuru, Lukenya/Kitengela and Thika

What are your plans for inter-county railways?

We  currently run inter county services on Madaraka Express from Nairobi to Mombasa and from Nairobi to Narok. Similar services will run along the county that will be served by SGR network once it extends to Kisumu and eventually to Malaba. The county to be served by phase 2B and phase 2C are Narok, Bomet, Nyamira, Migori, Kisumu, Busia

Plans to revive the colonial rails?

KR still runs freight services on Meter gauge mainline from Mombasa to Malaba. KR/GOK will embark on a major rehabilitation programme in order to  remove the temporary speed restriction which have been imposed on the line due to dilapidated railway track which has reduced the line capacity.

Currently KR has started rehabilitation of Nanyuki Branch line which we expect to complete in Mid 2020, freight operations will resume on the line immediately.

Meter Gauge Railway Vs the Standard Gauge Railway…

Design Features Standard Gauge Metre Gauge



1,435 mm


1,000 mm




Single track


Single track


Axle loading


25 tonnes


16 tonnes


Tonnage of freight train


4,000 tonnes (216 TEUs)


1,000 tonnes (40 TEUs)


Horizontal curvature


Radius 1,200 meters


Radius 175 meters


Ruling gradient






Loading gauge


Suitable for double stacked containers, double decker passenger cars & future electrification at 25 KV


Unsuitable for double stacked containers

Unsuitable for double deck passenger cars

Unsuitable for electrification


Design speeds


Passenger trains: 160 kph

Freight trains: 100 kph


Passenger trains: 70 kph

Freight trains: 65 kph


Capacity building for the locals in the management and operation of the locomotive as well as the stations

KR undertook capacity building for its’ staff during and after the SGR project. Capacity Building is a continuous process in the corporation. Under the SGR contract phase 1 & 2 capacity building was embedded in the Contract. KR and the supervising consultant as well as the EPC contractor offered internship/attachment to Kenyans during construction

Under the O & M contract between KRC and SGR operator. Training and capacity building is a key component, and KR continuously monitors implementation of the same.

Future management of the SGR project under the China Road and Bridges Corporation

CRBC operator has a 10 year contract to manage the Madaraka Express. Thereafter KR/GoK will evaluate on the best model of operation of the Madaraka express. i.e whether  to give Management Contract or Manage the operations directly.

Plans for electric trains?

Electrification of the railway line is a big project which involves other key stakeholders like KPLC. This is because the railway line will require stable power supply.

During construction of the SGR phase provision has been made on the major structures like bridges/via duct for placement of poles for electrification.

Nairobi Commuter Network will also be electrified in future. KR intends to electrify JKIA line during the second phase of implementation of JKIA line.

Impact of SGR in Kenya …          

In terms of the tax payers burden in servicing SGR loan. It’s expected SGR will break even and therefore be in a position to service the loan

In terms of the benefit of SGR to Kenyan Citizens, there is;

  • Jobs created
  • facilitated movement of both passengers and goods
  • increased GDP
  • reduction of cost of goods as a result of efficient transportation

What ways have Engineers in Kenya been involved or gained from the SGR project?

  • Direct employment in the projects either by contractors or Supervising consultants
  • Contracts for supply of materials, equipments etc

What are the expected growth areas for Engineers in the railway sector in Kenya?

The major Engineering disciplines of Engineering namely:- Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Signalling and Telecommunication. The railway sector in Kenya is expanding and with ongoing railway projects more opportunities are coming up.

What does the future hold for Kenyan rail infrastructures?

More construction of new railway related infrastructure as well as maintenance of the existing railway infrastructure.

The projects in the pipeline are:-

  • SGR phase 2B and Phase 2C
  • Rehabilitation of Nairobi Commuter Network
  • Construction of JKIA Line (part of Nairobi commuter)
  • Rehabilitation of Branch lines e.g Nanyuki Branch line
  • Mombasa Commuter Services.
  • Lapsset Corridor


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