Kenya Opens Chinese-Financed Railway05:38
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The SGR cargo train rides from the port containers depot in Mombasa, Kenya, to Nairobi, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta opened the country's largest infrastructure project since independence, a Chinese-backed railway costing nearly $3.3 billion that eventually will link a large part of East Africa to a major port on the Indian Ocean as China seeks to increase trade and influence. (Khalil Senosi/AP)
The SGR cargo train rides from the port containers depot in Mombasa, Kenya, to Nairobi, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta opened the country's largest infrastructure project since independence, a Chinese-backed railway costing nearly $3.3 billion that eventually will link a large part of East Africa to a major port on the Indian Ocean as China seeks to increase trade and influence. (Khalil Senosi/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

Kenyans are celebrating the maiden voyage of a new Chinese-financed train line on Wednesday. The Madaraka Express cost more than $3 billion to build, and slashes the travel time between Kenya's capital Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa.

The new railway is a point of national pride for Kenya but also raises environmental concerns. Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Eyder Peralta (@eyderp), NPR's East Africa correspondent, who was onboard for the train's first run.

This segment aired on May 31, 2017.

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