Standard gauge railway test rides set to begin next month

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially open the Standard gauge railway on July.

 

Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia said he was confident the project will be completed in time since construction works on the SGR are 99 per cent complete.

“The contractor will add all the facilities after testing for the purposes of operations and maintenance of the trains,” the CS said.

The Kenya Railways Corporation has so far received six freight haulage heavy-duty locomotives for mainline use out of the expected 43.

Earlier this month, Kenya received the second batch of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger and freight locomotives bringing the total number of locomotives to 10 out of the 56 locomotives expected in the country before June 1.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially launch the SGR operations on May 31.

Once complete the Sh327 billion project, will be capable of carrying up to 25tonnes which is four times the cargo possible to be hauled by the current metre gauge railway.

The cabinet secretary of transport was speaking after he flagged off trains carrying 35 students, including 15 women, who are going to study railway engineering in China.

The programme is funded by Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) contractor China Roads Bridge and Corporation (CRBC) in a move aimed to revamp the railway sector in the country.

CRBC general manager, Sun Liqiang who witnessed the flagging off said they will work with the ministry to sponsor more students.

Macharia added his  ministry has set aside up to $1 billion for the construction of a business school within the Railway Training Institute targeting about 1,000 students who will be taught how to operate the SGR and will help build the second phase of the project.

The second phase of the Mombasa – Nairobi railway which is set to cost Sh153 billion will extend to Naivasha and it will eventually be extended to Malaba, western Kenya from where it would link up to the Uganda SGR line.

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