First Kenya’s SGR train has made its first journey from Nairobi to Mombasa taking around 6 hours using a passenger train which left Nairobi at 9.30am and arrived at the Mombasa Marshaling yard at around 4.00pm.
The SGR Project Coordinator Johnson Matu, speaking at the Mombasa marshaling yard (dubbed kilometer zero) at the Port of Mombasa, voiced their impression with the initial test run, whose primary purpose was to determine the train’s performance ability on the new SGR track.
The test drive trip of the First Kenya’s SGR train from Nairobi to Mombasa covered a total of 472km with Mtito Andei marking the first stop for two hours and five minutes.
Among the compartments towed along by the locomotive was a specialized compartment fitted with a computerized system said to see condition of the tracks and relay it to the computer system.
Mtito Andei, which is the mid-point of the 472km was inclusive of four coaches and two passenger locomotive engines of the DF 8B class. The train was reportedly cruising at a speed of 120km per hour from Nairobi up to Mtito Andei, with all the rail communication modern systems in place.
However, it took longer for the train to cruise after leaving Mtito Andei as they had opted to travel at much lower speeds since the signaling and communication system are yet to be complete. Work on the upgrade between Mombasa and Mtito Andei was set to reach completion today.
On board the test drive passenger train were 21 rail experts from the SGR main consultant, TSDI–APEC–Edon Consortium, China Road and Bridges Corporation (CRBC), Kenya Railways management and staff, and engineers from manufacturers of the locomotives and coaches respectively.
Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina explained CRBC, TAEC and KR’s presence sighting completion acceptance tests. This is both in terms of the infrastructure and equipment, to ensure the standards expected by the client have been met.
He added that the test runs are for checking whether the locomotives, wagons and coaches will run on the track without hitches.
More tests are also being carried out on the entire signaling systems to examine capacity to recognize moving trains. He added that the speeds, reception and the dispatch from the stations, passenger comfort among others were also being checked. The tests are said to continue until May.