Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina has received the first batch of the passenger trains and coaches at the Port of Mombasa, Saturday, 28th January 2017 at 10:00 am.
The trains and coaches were received at Mombasa Port’s Berth 11. The new locomotives docked at Kenya’s main port earlier than anticipated. The corporation had said last week that the trains will arrive in the country in February.
The arrival will see Kenya become one of the first countries in Africa to receive the modern hybrid long-distance passenger trains. The first batch of the passenger locomotives are part of the 56 locomotives expected in the country prior to the launch of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in June 2017.
The ultra-modern 6,000 litre diesel-powered locomotives can run at a top speed of 158 kilometres per hour. They have an overall length of 220 meters.
Kenya Railways will receive a total of 40 passenger coaches which will have varying capacities with the economy class accommodating 118 passengers in each coach and 72 in the First-Class coach. Its low-weight and optimised aerodynamic design will reduce fuel consumption substantially.
The Passenger locomotives will cut down a 12-hour journey from Nairobi to Mombasa to about four hours. “These passenger locos will usher Kenya into in a new era. It is the backbone of our future long-distance transport system, linking up more towns, cities and countries,” said Kenya Railways Managing Director recently.
“These passenger locomotives will cut down a 12-hour journey from Nairobi to Mombasa to just over four hours. Furthermore, the line will result in significant cuts in journey times between Kenya, Uganda and eventually to Kigali, in Rwanda.”
Phase One of the SGR project is nearing completion with ancillary works, which include slope protection and drainage systems along sections of the line and fencing of the key facilities in the stations being finalised.
Already, the signaling, communication and electric works have been completed with the line testing exercise expected to commence in March, in preparation for official launch on June 1, 2017.
When completed, the modern, high capacity SGR will carry up to 1,000,000 passengers per annum, with two pairs of trains running per day, for the first four years.
The number of trips from the fourth year of operation will increase to three pairs of trains per day, giving a total of 1,500,000 passengers per year.