The first batch of freight locomotives for Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has arrived in the country, the government has announced.
It was received by James Macharia, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport at the Port Reitz Station in Mombasa.
“The delivery of this first batch of freight locomotives is a major milestone on this journey,” Macharia said.
SGR is the first green-field railway line in Kenya which runs from East Africa’s biggest port of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi. The landmark multi-government agency project whose construction speed has been remarkable is almost complete.
Upon completion, it will boost the capacity of Kenya’s railway transportation, enhancing smooth flow of traffic on the main artery of national economic development and contributing to the realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030 economic development goals.
Six locomotives docked at the port of which four are model DF8B diesel freight locomotives, the main traction locomotive model of the Chinese railway system, with locomotive power of 3100KW and a maximum speed of 100 km/h.
The DF8B heavy-duty diesel locomotive is the classic model with an AC-DC transmission Diesel-Electric and high-power engine, widely used for both passenger and freight. It boasts a domestic market share of 60 per cent in China. A total of 43 of these are expected.
There will be five DF11 passenger locomotives, the high-speed passenger transportation in China. The model is the highest scientific and technological achievement by the Chinese diesel locomotive industry expected to arrive by the end of January 2017.
Also expected are eight DF7G locomotives which together with the other two models have played a key role in the sixth nationwide train speed-up campaign in China. These shunting locomotives with 1550KW power and the freight locomotives will be used for marshalling and dispatching locomotives and rolling stock within stations.
There will be in all 56 passenger, freight and shunting locomotives in operation on the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR route. This is the first batch of four which are all expected in Kenya by mid 2017.
According to locomotive manufacturer CRRC Corporation, the three locomotives models have been customized for Kenya’s tropical savannah climate, operational environment and future maintenance requirements based on the results of field investigations in collaboration with Kenya Railways and SGR-Contractor CRBC along the SGR line.
The 472-kilometre SGR line is expected to start operations in June 2017.