Kenya on Sunday received 32 passenger coaches from China that will run on the east African country’s high-speed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
The coaches were imported through the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which are the contractor of the SGR line.
The 32 coaches incorporate 23 hard seats units, five soft seat units, two luggage car unit, a generator car unit and one track inspection car, said Atanas Maina, Kenya Railways Corporation managing director.
Speaking after inspecting the coaches in the coastal city of Mombasa, Maina said the Nairobi-Mombasa line will have five passenger trains operating on a daily basis.
The coaches are expected to ease the movement of people from Nairobi to Mombasa, Maina said.
The first class will have 72-passenger capacity, while the economy class will have a capacity of 118 people, said Maina.
Maina hinted that fares for the trains will be slightly higher than those of the buses plying the Mombasa-Nairobi road because the trains have air conditioning, WiFi, social amenities, among other comfort.
KRC has appointed a consultancy firm to validate the fares. Maina said the firm will check on emerging issues, which include fuel prices, to be able to fix the rates.
“The fare charges will be done in consultation with other stakeholders in transport industry to achieve desirable rates,” he said.
The 32 coaches were part of the second batch of the SGR locomotives, which were received on Saturday at the port of Mombasa by the KRC officials.
In total, Kenya is expected to receive some 40 passenger coaches by the end of May. On Saturday, KRC received four freight locomotives and two passenger locomotives making a total of over 10 locomotives that have been received in the country in the last two weeks.
A total of 56 locomotives — 43 freight locomotives, five passenger locomotives and eight shunting locomotives will be operating on the SGR line.
“The delivery of these locomotives will give us more time to test the engines as well as the line as we prepare for the commissioning,” said Maina. Enditem