Kenya’s successful implementation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project attained another milestone with the receiving of 6 locomotives. They arrived in the country on board MV Kota Bistari from China.
The 6 SGR locomotives which comprised of 4 freight locomotives and 2 shunting locomotives are part of an entire fleet of 56 locomotives, 5 passenger coaches and 1,620 wagons that will be deployed on the Standard Gauge Railway line when operations commence. Of the 56 locomotives, 43 will be used for movement of freight, 5 will be for passengers and 8 will be used for shunting operations.
The shunting locomotives have a design speed of 100 kmh and will be used for assembling, disassembling and moving rolling stock around the yard. The freight trains on the other hand have a design speed of 100 kmh but will travel at a recommended operation speed of 80 kmh taking slightly over 6 hours between Mombasa and Nairobi while pulling a trailing load of 108 containers. Owing to the design of the freight wagons which allows for double stacking of containers, the freight trains will play a vital role in decongesting the Port of Mombasa.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Mr. James Macharia said:
“It is a historic moment for our nation. Construction of the Standard Gauge Railway project is nearing completion. Today we are here to receive the first batch of 6 locomotives that will be used for operations on the line. It is important to note that, construction of a railway line is not an end in itself. The railway has to be operated to achieve its objective which is to enhance mobility of the masses and freight.”
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