Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has Wednesday inaugurated the fast batch of four freight and two shunting locomotives for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line at the port of Mombasa.
The locomotives docked at the port of Mombasa at the weekend from China aboard MV Kota Bistari as the Sh. 372 billion SGR takes shape.
Dr. Macharia says more locomotives will also arrive at the port from China in two months time ahead of the SGR which is expected to start operations in June this year.
‘we shall be receiving altogether 56 locomotives, 1620 freight wagons and 40 passenger coaches before the commencement of operation in June this year’ said Dr. Macharia.
The CS says phase 1 covering 472 Kilometers is essentially complete with Mombasa and Nairobi now linked by a modern high capacity high speed SGR.
‘We are proud to announce that phase 2 development covering Nairobi-Malaba is on course after the government have identified financial resources for the construction of the Nairobi-Naivasha section of the SGR’ he said after flagging-off and inaugurating the locomotive engines.
He said the first train will set off from Mombasa to Nairobi on June 1 2017 as scheduled boosting transportation in the country.
‘SGR is set to be the catalyst for development in Kenya and in East Africa region’ he said and urged Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) to ensure efficiency.
‘The construction of a railway is not an end in itself, it has to be operated to achieve its mandated objective which is to reduce the cost of transportation in the Northern Corridor and by expansion reduce the cost of doing business’ he said.