Kenya welcomes first batch of freight locomotives for Standard Gauge Railway
Kenya has received the first batch of the freight locomotives for the standard gauge railway in readiness for testing slated to happen in the course of the first quarter of this year.
The locomotives were received by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, and Urban Development, Mr. James Macharia at a ceremony held at Mombasa’s Port Reitz Station, which is the starting point for the SGR’s Mombasa-Nairobi line.
Macharia said the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR has registered a remarkable construction speed and it is expected the completion of the entire project will be within contract terms.
“The delivery of this first batch of freight locomotives is a major milestone on this journey,” said the CS.
Six locomotives docked at the port, four of which are freight locomotives of the model DF8B diesel with locomotive power of 3100KW and a maximum speed of 100 km/h.
The entire fleet of 56 locomotives is expected to be in the country by mid-year and will arrive in four batches. The fleet, when complete, will consist of three models: passenger, freight and shunting locomotives.
Kenya Railways Managing Director, Atanas Maina commended the contractors and the various consultants working on the project for the timely delivery of the locomotives as well as the completion of the 472 KM line.
According to the CRBC, the three locomotive models have been customized for Kenya’s tropical savannah climate, operational environment and future maintenance requirements, based on the results of field investigations carried out by Kenya Railways, CRBC and the locomotive manufacturer CRRC Corporation along the SGR line.
Under construction by CRBC, the Nairobi-Mombasa SGR line, which runs from Mombasa Port, East Africa’s biggest, is the first green-field railway line in Kenya in the last century.
The construction of sub-grade, bridge, culverts and main line track-laying is nearly complete while installation of signalling, communication and electricity systems, and station building has come to an end.
The preparation for full railway operation is currently underway and it is expected that the railway will start operations from June this year.