Mombasa residents optimistic after arrival of SGR locomotives

Port workers offload a locomotive from a ship. PHOTO: FILE

Mombasa,KENYA:A visit to Mr. Andrew Kila’s shop in Mwembe Tayari business centre in the heart of Mombasa Island brings excitement on his face; he owns a renowned electronic shop with variety of different goods.

Kila, 34, explains to me that the newly established 472 kilometer Standard Gauge Railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi will be a relief.

This he says, in terms of time management since he will be able to travel to and fro from Nairobi to buy new stock of goods in 4 hours only.

This comes barely few days after the Kenyan delegates received the first batch of the freight locomotives for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) at the Port of Mombasa from China ready for the line testing process.

Speaking during the launch at the Port Reiz,Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development CS Mr.  James Macharia said the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR has registered a remarkable construction speed, and the government is expected to complete the entire project soon.

He added that delivery of the first batch of freight locomotives is a major milestone to the project.

“The locomotives were manufactured by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) of Qishuyan in the Peoples Republic of China under strict quality supervision by Kenya Railway and TAEC Consultant Consortium experts who were stationed at the manufacturing facilities to ensure that the end products meet our specifications.” He said.

“The second batch of six which included 4 freight and 2 passenger locomotives will be delivered by early February 2017 and the remaining forty four by May 2017”.  He finally said.

Yao Ming – from Embassy of China in Kenya, said that railway construction has created job opportunities to many Kenyans.

“Since the construction of this railway project, it has created almost 30, 000 local jobs and it also has made local procurement and also CRBC is helping to train local staff to help prepare the future skilled professionals for your railway institute”. He said