China Road and Bridge Contractors (CRBC) have begun training 102 students on how to operate the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line. SGR construction has gained momentum with workers on the ground laying track and working extra hours ahead of its launch in July 2017. CRBC is the sponsor of the training.
Students will be trained on SGR signaling /communication system, railway transport, engineering and management. According to the training schedule, the students will undergo a four month theoretical training before sitting for their examinations then move to training session that has no specific time frame.CRBC’s human resource department is facilitating the selection of trainees, who are being taught by lecturers from the Southwest Jiatong University of China in conjunction with the Railway Training Institute.
The contractor recently welcomed 30 Kenyan youths from the slums around the city to the Railway Training Institute. The youth will gain skills that make them employable in the railway industry and other technical fields. The contractor has previously conducted various training sessions for SGR employees both at the Institute and SGR construction camp. In May, 2015 the firm launched a Technology Transfer Centre in Voi, Taita Taveta County.
In this regard, Southwest Jiatong University of China plans to partner with Kenyan universities to offer more training on the technical operations of SGR.
In June 2016, President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction towards the first phase of SGR while inspecting Section 7 at Sultan Hamud which lies at 362 kilometres of the 472 kilometres SGR route length. Government has already approved the contract for the procurement of 56 locomotives, 1620 freight wagons and 40 passenger coaches that will be docking in Mombasa starting December 2016 in readiness for testing and commissioning.
Once completed, the line will carry a trailing load of 4,000 tonnes on each train. The new locomotive engines will be able to pull double stacked containers for cargo while passenger wagons will span up to 700m in length carrying 1,096 passengers. The freight terminals will be located at the Mombasa Port Station and the Inland Container Depots at Embakasi in Nairobi. The expansion and modernization of the ICD at Embakasi will be fast tracked to be ready by June 2017 in order to guarantee efficient evacuation of cargo.