The new SGR line from Mombasa to Nairobi is set to commence operations soon. The SGR is the largest project in Kenya since independence and will surely change Kenya forever.
The SGR has 9 stations and 23 passing stations. Each station has been built with a different design principle and this post hopes to go into some detail of how and why these stations look the way they do. The 9 stations are as follows, Mombasa terminus, Mariakani station, Miasenyi station, Voi station, Mtito Andei station, Kibwezi station, Emali station, Athi River station and Nairobi terminus.
The Mombasa Terminus is probably the most eye-catching of the new stations of the SGR. The station has a large entrance area with shops and ticket area. A large tower with an amazing view of the bay and 3 tracks with two platforms.
The design of the station was inspired by a drop of water falling into a pool. The tower is the drop of water and the buildings around it are the ebbs and ripples of the water. The building overlooks the Port Reitz and is the perfect place for a water inspired building. The building’s construction is made from concrete and the floors are held up by concrete columns. The facade is full of glass that allows huge amounts of light into the building. The building is clad in white a brown coloured sheets.
Mariakani Station is the second station passengers will encounter on their journey to Nairobi. The station has one platform with one track. It is a small and quaint station with as most impressive feature, its roof.
The roof is inspired by the many coconut trees that surround Mariakani. The roof is held up by slender mushroom columns that get wider towards the top. The roof has many skylights that allow light to flow into the hall. The window frames are many from local wood that give a contract to the steel roof and columns.
The train station seems to be strongly influenced by the Gare do Oriente in Lisbon designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. It has the same finesse in its roof and columns just on a much smaller scale.
Miasenyi Station is a small station close to an even smaller town. The station was designed mainly to serve tourists who want to see the beautiful Kenyan landscape. This station has one track that it can serve.
The station was inspired by the stripes of the Zebras that roam the landscape. Its white stripes are set forward with the brown stripes set back a bit. This gives the building some relief. The entrance has a large glass facade which lets light in.
Voi Station serve the town of Voi and the station has one platform that serves one track.
The station was inspired by the word ‘Harambee’. The Swahili word for pulling together. The ‘V’ shape of the station stands for Voi. The building is full of glass and steel. It brownish facade colour matches the brown-red colour of the earth.
Mtito Andei Station
Mtito Andei Station serve the town of the same name, it too has one platform and track.
The station is inspired by the mountains and hills that surround Mtito Andei. The station is full of glass and light.
Kibwezi station serves the Tea and Coffee producing town with the same name. The station was therefore inspired by leaves and twigs.
The facade is almost entirely made up of glass and has a steel frame to carry the loads. The roof has three protruding triangles that represent the leaves. There’s provide shade and cover from the sun and rain. The station is a one platform station. The roof is clad in a red-brown colour that matches the earth.
Emali station is one of the most interesting stations. It is incredibly sleek and modern. It looks more like a spaceship just waiting to take off than a train station.
The station sits between Kajiado County and Makueni County. These two counties have diverse people who live in peace together. The station represents a fist, camaraderie.
Athi River Station
Athi River station is the last station before the final stop of Nairobi Terminus. It serves the industrial town at the outskirts of Nairobi of Athi River.
The station’s design like Emali station is modern and sleek. It has a large robust steel frame that is clad in glass and steel plates.
The last station (for now) is Nairobi Terminus. The station is located on the South end of the city and sits close to Mombasa road. The station serves the capital city and largest city in Kenya, Nairobi. The station has been integrated with the old meter gauge so that people can use that to get to the city centre, using the commuter rail system.
The station design was inspired by two trains coming together. Once the line is continued all the way to Malaba, Nairobi terminus will be the central hub for all trains along the line. The station is the biggest and has a modern facade with all the amenities of a modern station. It is a real sight to behold and a fitting end to the line.
The roof is held up my giant almost tree-like columns. These allow the floor to be clear of many columns and means the station is more open and has more space. The station has a steel frame and many skylights to allow light to come in. The station (like all the stations) has modern ticket machines that will scan your ticket and allow you through efficiently.
The station has two bridges from the central ticket hall to the platform, one for arriving passengers and one for departing. This bridge crosses the meter and standard gauge railway and gives amazing views of the trains below.
The new SGR line will revolutionise travel cutting down the cost and travel time for passengers travelling to any of the wonderful stations and towns that are along it. With everything ready, finished and built all the line needs now is passengers. It is a true testimony of the resolve of the Kenyan people and will surely help its people.
Aluochbonnita, The Star, Twitter (First Lady Kenya), Skyscrapercity (SGR), Wikipedia (Gare do Oriente), Twitter (SGR Kenya), Skyscrapercity (Kenya Railways), Livinspaces, MWARV, CRBC Photo Kenya, Coast Week, Antony Trivet, News Anotao, Jamii Forums, Update, Standard Media, Kass FM, The Star, CNN