Kenya railways receives 60 wagons for SGR track operations
Kenya Railways on Monday received its first batch of wagons that will be deployed on the Standard Gauge Railway line once operations commence in June this year.
The consignment of 60 wagons arrived at the Port of Mombasa on February 10, 2017 aboard two ships and was offloaded today under the supervision of the China Road and Bridge Corporation; the EPC contractor for Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway project, Kenya Railways engineers and the project supervisor, 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. Kenya Railways is very pleased that the rolling stock has started to arrive 106 days to the launch date which gives the Corporation reasonable time to start testing and commissioning in readiness for trial operations as we bring on board the rail operator on 1st June 2017.
The wagons are a key deliverable under SGR as they are the means via which the high capacity Standard Gauge Railway will deliver our promise to our customers, the cargo owners. The network has capacity to hold eight hundred and fifty (850) metres long trains moving at eighty (80) kilometres per hour. This is the fastest we shall have moved such amount of cargo on this corridor which helps cargo owners to maximise on economies of scale, better supply chain and logistics management which should eventually translate to lower cost of transport and logistics for the Country and the Region.
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 communiqué 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 in the country and will provide the kind of service that complements the existing demand. 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, which will aid in decongesting the Port of Mombasa and engineer a significant shift of bulk cargo to rail from road come with improved technical performance and are able to operate at a commercial speed of 120 km/h. The wagons which feature light tare weight are reliable, easy to maintain and have a long lifespan.
Plans are at an advanced stage to bring on board the operations and maintenance team before the launch date of June 1, 2017.