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Kenya receives first batch of Chinese-made trains
   2017-01-12 11:11:16    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guan Chao

Six brand-new standard gauge railway (SGR) locomotives arrive in Mombasa, Kenya on January 11, 2017. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com / Xing Yihang]

Kenya has received delivery of the first batch of locomotives from China, which will run on a China-funded standard gauge railway (SGR) that is due to start trial operations in June.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday in the coastal city of Mombasa, where the six locomotives docked on Monday.

The Kenyan Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, James Macharia, said the delivery of the locomotives marked a major milestone "in the journey to complete the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR project".

The railway will extend to the country's western border and eventually reach other East African nations.

China is financing 90 percent of the project, with construction work being carried out by the China Road and Bridge Corporation.

The Charge d' affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, Yao Ming, said he hoped the co-built railway will help fulfill the dreams of the two nations.

Kenya has ordered a total of 56 locomotives from the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation to ferry passengers and goods on the line.

The Chinese train maker said these locomotives have been customized for Kenya's tropical savannah climate, operational environment and future maintenance requirements.

Four of the six vehicles are traction locomotives with a maximum speed of 100 km/h, while the other two are shunting locomotives to be used for the marshalling and assembling of trains and for rolling stock within stations.

All of them are primary locomotive models in China's railway system.

The second batch of locomotives is due to arrive at the port of Mombasa by the end of January.

Ye Xiaolin, a deputy general manager of the project, said as soon as all the locomotives arrive, they will start dynamic testing, which will mark a staged success of the entire project.

The Mombasa-Nairobi railway, is the first phase of the China-funded SGR project in Kenya, and is expected to begin trial operations in June and to officially open by the beginning of 2018.

Kenya anticipates a boost to the country's socio-economic growth upon the launch of the line.

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