ATC News by Wolfgang H. Thome
Kenya will become the first country in Africa to receive brand new long- distance passenger trains in February this year. The five passenger locomotives are part of the 56 locomotives expected in the country prior to the launch of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in June 2017, the other engines intended to pull freight trains.
‘These passenger locos will usher Kenya into in a new era: it is the backbone of our future long-distance transport system, linking up more and more, towns, cities and countries” said Kenya Railways Managing Director, Atanas Maina.
‘These passenger locomotives will cut down a twelve-hour journey from Nairobi to Mombasa to just over four hours. Furthermore, the line will result in significant cuts in journey times between Kenya, Uganda and eventually to Kigali, in Rwanda.”
The modern diesel-powered locomotives can run at a top speed of nearly 160 kilometres per hour shortening the travel time from the present nearly 14 hours to just 4 1/2 hours per journey.
Kenya Railways will receive forty passenger coaches which will have varying capacities with the Economy Class accommodating 118 passengers in each coach and 72 passengers in the First-Class coaches.