>> Kenya, celebrating the debut of a brand new $3.2 billion rail line almost entirely funded by China. A new era for both countries as China expands a multi-billion dollar series of projects aimed at upgrading trade routes through Eurasia and Africa. Reuters' Duncan Miriri reports from the freedom express.
>> The reason why this lane has been built, is because the government believe that modern transport systems are essential for economic growth. Helping to lower the cost of moving goods and even people. And our President Uhuru Kenyatta who has been riding on this inaugural train and he's seated in one of the coaches at the front of the train, was very keen to have this project to be launched before a national election in August in which he is seeking re-election.
>> The new system replaces a notorious rail line nick named the lunatic express. Decaying at over a 100 years old, thousands are thought to have died in its construction during British colonial rule. Lions even dragging some from their tents. But it did become an economic lifeline for Kenya and the new railways hope to push it that much further.
President Kenyatta intervene frequently to smooth out bureaucratic hurdles during development, the freedom express name for Kenya's independent stage in first was completed over two years ahead of schedule.>> The Mombasa-Nairobi leg of this railway line is just the first phase and it is 472 kilometers, there are plans to extend it to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha before taking it to the border town of Uganda, Malaba where Uganda will then construct another rail to Kampala before moving on to Rwanda and Burundi.
>> The new system is also a political flashpoint. Opposition parties have accused President Kenyatta's ruling party of inflating its cost and misappropriating funds. A common allegation at a country where government corruption is widespread.