Kenya Railways on Monday received its first batch of wagons that will be deployed on the Standard Gauge Railway line.
The consignment of 60 wagons arrived at the Port of Mombasa on February 10, 2017, aboard two ships and was offloaded under the supervision of the China Road and Bridge Corporation; the EPC contractor for Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway project, Kenya Railways engineers; the project supervisor and TSDI-APEC-EDON Consortium (TAEC). This is the first batch of the one thousand six hundred and twenty (1620) wagons which will be used for movement of cargo between Mombasa and Nairobi. The wagons arrived 106 days to the launch date of the railway which gives the Corporation reasonable time to start testing and commissioning in readiness for trial operations.
The wagons are a key deliverable under SGR as they are the means via which the Standard Gauge Railway will deliver goods to the customers. The network has a capacity to hold eight hundred and fifty (850) meters long trains moving at 80Kph.
This is the first batch of freight haulage rolling stock received thus far. Kenya Railways has so far received eight (8) freight haulage heavy-duty locomotives for mainline use out of the total expected forty-three (43), two (2) shunting locomotives out of the eight (8) on order, two (2) passenger locomotives with another three (3) expected by May to complete the order and a total of thirty-two (32) passenger coaches out of the forty (40) on order.
In his brief to Media Houses, Kenya Railways Managing Director Mr. A. K. Maina said that the project is now in its final phase of construction and will soon be ready for operations. He stated that the delivery of the locomotives and rolling stock is an important component for the SGR project implementation and that the Corporation is right on track in all factors that pertain to the project implementation, even as subsequent operations are set to commence in earnest.
The wagons received today will play a vital role in enhancing transportation of bulk cargo. The fleet of wagons procured by the rail firm includes the Gondola Wagon, the Container Flat wagon, the covered wagon, and the general flat wagon. The wagons which can load 70 tons are designed for Standard Gauge Railway operations and are suited for loading and transporting commodities such as rolled steel products, coal, ore, building materials, mechanical facilities, and timber.
The wagons will aid in decongesting the Port of Mombasa and engineer a shift of bulk cargo from road to rail. They trains can operate at a maximum commercial speed of 120 km/h.
There are plans to bring on board the operations and maintenance team before the commissioning of the railway later this year.