Passenger Trains Dock in Mombasa
The first batch of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger trains docked at the Mombasa port on Saturday.
The two passenger locomotives and 32 coaches that were offloaded at the port are part of the 56 locomotives expected in the country ahead of the SGR which is set to start operations in June 2017.
Four freight locomotives were also offloaded, bringing the number of SGR locomotives in the country to eight freight locomotives, two passenger locomotives and two shunting locomotives.
The passenger coaches boats of interiors that allow commuters to enjoy air conditioning, WIFI, social amenities and catering facilities among other luxuries.
‘The early delivery of these locomotives will give us more time to test the engines as well as the line as we prepare for the commissioning in June,’ said Kenya Railways Managing Director Antanas Maina who witnessed the offloading of the machines.
Maina said all the new trains will be tested to ensure safety compliance adding that quality assurance acceptance tests are already underway in marshaling yards in Mombasa and Nairobi.
‘Once these tests are completed we will start commercial services where passengers will actually board the trains and get to experience them,’ he said.
The 6,000 litre diesel-powered locomotives can run at a top speed of 160 km per hour and are set to revolutionise passenger and cargo journeys in the 472 km stretch between Mombasa and Nairobi.
When completed the modern high speed capacity SGR will carry up to 1,000,000 passengers per annum with two pairs of trains running per day.
By Hussein Abdullahi