, MOMBASA, Kenya, Mar 21 – Two passenger train services will run concurrently once the Standard Gauge Railway service commences in June.
The Intercity passenger train will offer an express service between the two main destinations of Mombasa and Nairobi stopping only at Mtito Andei to allow passage of the passenger train going in the same or opposite direction.
The second type of train service is the County train which will make a stop at each of the seven intermediate stations at Mariakani, Miaseny, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali and Athi River on its way to either destination to allow residents of the said areas access train transport services.
Kenya Railways Corporation Managing Director Atanas Maina has further clarified that passenger trains will be given priority on the line whereby Freight trains will be stopped at the crossing stations to enable passenger trains to pass.
“The Mombasa to Nairobi section of the Standard Gauge Railway network is just the beginning of more kilometers of SGR track planned for Kenya,” said Maina.
The track will be extended to Malaba with construction on the Nairobi to Naivasha section set to commence later this year.
The corporation has received another batch of locomotives and rolling stock that will be deployed on the Standard Gauge Railway line.
The batch which consists of 3 passenger locomotives, 8 passenger coaches, and 120 open-top wagons arrived at the Port of Mombasa aboard two ships from China.
This has seen the railway receive eight freight haulage heavy duty locomotives for mainline use out of the total expected 43, two shunting locomotives out of the 8 on order and 330 wagons out of the total order of 1,620 in total.
Five passenger locomotives and forty passenger coaches have also been arrived.
“Given that Kenya’s economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the region, the Standard Gauge Railway line will add a lot of value to the transport and logistics scene by increasing mobility, reducing congestion at the Port and on roads and removing major inefficiencies in movement of both people and freight,” noted Maina .
He said the locomotives and rolling stock delivered earlier have been inspected and are currently being subjected to comprehensive static and dynamic tests in order to ensure they are in good condition before acceptance.
Testing commenced early this month and the passenger train successfully completed its maiden test journey to Mombasa from Nairobi on March 8, 2017.