SGR trains land in Mombasa ahead of July commissioning

SGR trains land in Mombasa ahead of July commissioning
First batch of SGR trains arrive at port of Mombasa/ Photo Courtesy

The first batch of locomotives to be used on the standard gauge railway (SGR) have arrived at the port of Mombasa, with preparations underway to get the new trains operational on the much anticipated line.

The first six trains will be officially unveiled by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Wednesday, with the SGR expected to be commissioned in July.

Kenya Railways has procured a total of 56 locomotives, 40 passenger coaches and 1,620 wagons as part of the rolling stock which will be supplied by China’s CRRC Corporation.

The project is being undertaken by the China Road and Bridges Corporation (CRBC).

CRBC has laid out a temporary rail track alongside berth 11 at the port where the ship loaded with the SGR locomotives is expected to offload its cargo.

The track will be used to get the new locomotives to the start point of the SGR line in Mombasa, just a few meters from the port.

The CRBC has been carrying out stress tests on the SGR line to ensure the line is able to accommodate the anticipated load.

Construction of railway stations along the SGR line is 97 percent while installation of signaling facility along the rail network is at 88 percent.

The passenger locomotives will have a capacity of carrying 1,096 passengers and are expected to ease passenger movement, with most travelers taking up to 12 hours on the roads.

The trains are expected to hit a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour.

The freight locomotives, which are each expected to haul 216 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) will see haulage of cargo rise by 22 million tons annually.

Report by Brenda Nyamichaba

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