NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – The second batch of the Standard Gauge Railway passenger and freight locomotives docked at the port of Mombasa on Saturday.
Four locomotives, two passenger and two freight were offloaded by Kenya Railways Corporation officials that include the Managing Director Atanus Maina.
Kenya has now received 10 locomotives, after the first the first batch of six locomotives were received two weeks ago.
These are part of the 56 locomotives expected in the country before June 1, 2016 when the SGR will be commissioned.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially launch the SGR operations on May 31, according to the Transport Ministry.
Maina said once the testing is completed they will go into the commercial services where customers will start using the trains.
The 6,000 litre diesel-powered locomotives, which can run at a top speed of 158Km per hour, produces up to 3,040 kilo watts nominal power for propelling the train on East Africa terrain.
Transport CS James Macharia said on January 11 that the SGR project is 18 months ahead of schedule and its quality is that of the world’s standard.
In an Interview with Capital FM Business Maina had urged Kenyans to stop comparing the locomotives with the bullet trains in Morocco citing that locomotives are not supposed to be beautiful.
“The Moroccan government has identified they need to move five million people between Tangier and Casablanca which is a very popular location for tourists and they want to move as many people as they can. Bullet trains are passenger trains only, our lines are both passenger and freight but mainly freight since we do not have such passenger demand,” he said.
Once operational the railway will ease transportation costs removing about 108 tracks off the road.