NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A batch of modern hybrid long-distance passenger
trains for Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), which is nearing
completion, will arrive in the country in February, a railway
official said on Friday.
Kenya Railways Managing Director,
Atanas Maina, said the five passenger locomotives are part of the 56
locomotives expected in the country prior to the launch of the SGR
"These passenger locomotives will cut down a 12-hour journey from
Nairobi to Mombasa to just over four hours. Furthermore, the line
will result in significant cuts in journey times between Kenya,
Uganda and eventually to Kigali, in Rwanda," Maina said in a
statement issued in Nairobi.
The government anticipates that incomes for ordinary Kenyans will
rise substantially while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will
increase by 1.5 percent once the 472-kilometer Chinese funded high
speed railway is commissioned in June 2017.
China’s Exim Bank has provided 90 percent of the financing toward
construction of the Standard Gauge Railway project that will cost
3.8 billion U.S. dollars.
Maina said the ultra-modern 6,000 litres of diesel powered
locomotives can run at a top speed of 158 kilometres per hour and
have an overall length of 220 meters.
He said Kenya Railways will receive 40 passenger coaches which
will have varying capacities with the economy class accommodating
118 passengers in each coach and 72 in the First-Class coach.
Its low-weight and optimized aerodynamic design will reduce fuel
"These passenger locos will usher Kenya into in a new era: it is
the backbone of our future long-distance transport system, linking
up more and more, towns, cities and countries," Maina said.
He said the locomotives and rolling stock of the SGR project have
been manufactured by China’s CRRC Corporation Limited.
CRRC’s market share is over 60 percent in China, and has also
already exported locomotives, rolling stock and related products to
other countries such as Venezuela, Tanzania, Guinea, Argentina,
Saudi Arabia, Thailand, etc.
"With these passenger locomotives, we are crossing technical and
geographic borders. The powerful engine with nominal power of up to
3,040 kW offers the traction that we need on the East African
terrains," Maina said.
He said apart from an excellent interior, passengers on both
First Class and Economy Class will enjoy air conditioning, Wi-Fi,
social amenities and catering facilities, among other comforts.
Experts say agriculture and manufacturing sectors will be
greatest beneficiaries of the SGR project.
Kenya anticipates vibrant cross-border trade in goods and
services upon completion of the Chinese-funded modern railway and
thus hasten Kenya’s industrialization process and boost its
competitiveness in a globalized world.