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Surprise arrival

NAIROBI (AFP) – Passengers on a high-speed train in Kenya were all smiles as a fellow traveller gave birth, assisted by a doctor and nurse who were also on board, Kenya Railways said.

The expectant mother went into labour while travelling on the express service from Kenya’s capital Nairobi to the port city of Mombasa.

“We are delighted to share a heartwarming story of a mother who welcomed her bundle of joy on board the Madaraka Express,” Kenya Railways said on Facebook on Wednesday, posting photos showing the woman and the newborn surrounded by beaming staffers and passengers.

After giving birth, “she was rushed to Mariakani subcounty hospital for further medical assistance”, the post said, drawing over 2,400 likes.

“Both the mother and the baby are okay. We wish her well.”

Hundreds of people congratulated the new mother on Facebook, with some urging her to name the baby Madaraka (“freedom” in Swahili) and others calling on Kenya Railways to give the child free lifelong access to the express service.

The service is part of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) – Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project since independence from Britain in 1963.

It was launched as a master plan by East African leaders to connect their nations by rail.

Currently snaking from Mombasa via Nairobi to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, it is planned to eventually link Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and Ethiopia.

PHOTO: ENVATO
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