China is seeking to train more locomotive drivers to serve the entire Standard Gauge Railway project in a bid to increase local presence in the project operations.
Afri-star the company that runs the Standard Gauge Railway has started airlifting locomotive trainees to China for a three months training course in preparation for phase three of the project.
The Standard Gauge Railway is Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project yet costing about 450 billion shillings with the project earmarked to ease transport in the country.
To give the project a local touch, the Chinese contractor is airlifting locomotive trainees to Shaanxi Province for a three months training to prepare them to take over operations of the rail network.
One such trainee is Shalom Njeri, who has been an employee of Afri-star railway, the company that manages the standard gauge railway’s operations, for three years.
Many like Njeri, have gone through such training both locally and in China. She has the chance to be the first batch of locomotive drivers in Kenya, once her training is completed.
Since its inception, it is estimated that construction and operation of the Standard Gauge Railway has created 30,000 jobs for Kenyans.