By Ronald Owili
Intercity Passenger trains on the newly constructed Standard Gauge Railway will have priority on the line as Kenya Railways seeks to ensure passengers take four hours between Nairobi to Mombasa.
The SGR line between Mombasa and Nairobi will have seven stop-over stations. This comes as Kenya received another batch of locomotives, coaches and wagons.
Word is that journey between Mombasa and Nairobi which by road takes 8 hours, will be cut by half when the standard gauge railway begins operations on 1st of June.
Until then, the government has embarked on a vigorous static and dynamic testing of the line and trains with the rolling stock it has been receiving since January this year.
The latest batch to arrive consists of 3 passenger locomotives, 8 passenger coaches, and 120 open-top wagons.
In total, Kenya Railways has so far received from China, 8 freight haulage heavy duty locomotives for mainline use out of the total expected 43, 2 shunting locomotives of the ordered 8 and 330 wagons out of the total 1,620.
All passenger trains have now been delivered consisting 5 passenger locomotives and 40 passenger coaches.
Intercity trains between Mombasa and Nairobi will have a direct service with the only stop at Mtito Andei.
Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maiana says, “passenger trains will be given priority on the line whereby Freight trains will be stopped at the crossing stations to enable passenger trains to pass which is a common practice all over the World.”
The second type of train is the County train which will make a stop at each of the seven intermediate stations at Mariakani, Miaseny, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali and Athi River.
Kenya Railways is still is yet to publish fares Kenyans will be charged on the new track even as it targets to ferry at least 2 million passengers by the year 2020.