Jan 10, 2017: Six locomotives that will ply the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) arrived at the Port of Mombasa on January 9. The locomotives form the first batch of the consignment sourced from China.

The locomotives arrived at the Port of Mombasa ahead of commissioning and will be unveiled on January 11 by Transport and Infrastructure secretary James Macharia. Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina said that the second batch of locomotives will arrive in the country next month.

The locomotives were offloaded onto a rail track alongside Berth 11 at the port.

The SGR is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since its Independence. Expected to shorten the passenger travel time from 10 hours to about four hours, the new railway line will connect Mombasa and Nairobi. It also aims to connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan in subsequent phases. Freight trains are expected to complete the journey in less than eight hours.

The project, which started in 2013 was initially scheduled to be completed in 2018, however, as work caught on pace, the government declared that it would be ready by June this year.

The SGR, budgeted to cost Sh372 billion is likely to escalate to Sh447.5 billion including financing costs.

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