Phillip Mainga: The Man Tasked With Construction of Ksh 28 billion Underground Tunnel Linking Green Park Terminal With Haile Selassie Avenue

Phillip Mainga: The Man Tasked With Construction of Ksh 28 billion Underground Tunnel Linking Green Park Terminal With Haile Selassie Avenue
( Phillip Mainga, Kenya Railways Managing Director, photo courtesy of KR. )

The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Managing Director, Philip Mainga, is a man on a mission.

The MD wants the government of Kenya to build an underground tunnel linking the Green Park terminal at Uhuru Park to Haile Selassie avenue to ease Uhuru Highway congestion as part of the Sh28 billion Nairobi central railway city project. 

The first phase of the project is expected to cost £80 million (Sh11.7 billion), which will come from the United Kingdom Export Finance. Mainga says the overall scope of phase one’s early works is now underway with the initial task being the construction of a pedestrian footbridge across the Nairobi Railway Yard.

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“We have already begun the construction work. The contractor is already on site and soon we will begin seeing changes,” Mr. Mainga said, quoted by Construction Kenya publication.

On Tuesday, the Railway MD told parliament that the country has already received Sh12 billion towards phase one of the project.

Here’s his story as told by wok.

New City under the sun

The project, which is part of the six projects worth Sh500 billion, signed between Kenya and UK during climate conference COP17 held in Egypt, involves construction of a 425-acre urban development on the area between Haile Sellasie Avenue, Uhuru Highway and Bunyala Road – comprising transit stations, homes, offices, among other features.

Kenya Railways owns 292 acres of the 425-acre piece of land.

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In December 2022, the first phase of the project worth £80 million (Sh11.9 billion) kicked off. The United Kingdom will build a green city of office blocks, malls and a light industrial hub on Kenya Railways land as a plan to decongest the Central Business District as well as create employment. 

A green city is an urban enclave that incorporates eco-friendly practices, green spaces and supporting technology to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, enhance air quality, and protect natural resources.

“The Kings Cross London-style development, backed by £80 million of UK Export Finance, will regenerate Nairobi’s bustling central business district as a green urban environment of the future,” read the statement from the British High Commission in Nairobi.

The new green city, which will be designed by British architects, will comprise hi-tech industries and SMEs and create over 200,000 new jobs. 

Mainga’s Career and Success

Until his appointment as Managing Director, Mr. Mainga was the General Manager Business and Operations at Kenya Railways Corporation.

Mr. Mainga has over two decades of experience in a wide range of fields including corporate planning, project management and business management. He was the business research and general manager at KRC before he took up the position of managing director in an acting capacity in 2018.

“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.” Mainga told the Kenya Engineer publication in 2021.

In 2022, The Board of Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) quietly extended his term, handing him a second three-year term.

Mr. Mainga is credited with 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.

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 is also thanks to Mr. Mainga’s tenacity. 


The Kenya Railways MD holds a master’s degree in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi.

He also has a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Mysore and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Mysore and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of Mysore.

He also undertook a course in Regional Integration in Africa by a joint World Bank Institute and African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). 

Mr. Mainga is a professional member of Certified Finance Management for Project Managers, Associate Member MEGADEV Consultants and Associate Member of the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM).

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