1st SGR train will leave Mombasa on June 1 – CS
The first SGR train will leave Mombasa station for Nairobi on June 1.
Transport CS James Macharia said phase one of construction is 99 per cent complete.
The railway project from Mombasa to Nairobi will cost Sh327 billion.
Macharia said tracks have been laid from Mombasa to Nairobi South in readiness for the first run.
He made the announcement on Monday when he briefed President Uhuru Kenyatta on the progress of the SGR at State House, Nairobi.
The President commended the progress made and underscored the importance of the project in transforming the transport sector.
The meeting was attended by China Communications Construction Company Vice President Chen Yun and China Roads and Bridges Corporation President Lu Shan.
Macharia said test-runs of locomotives, tracks, signalling and communication facilities is ongoing.
He said construction of 33 stations is also about to be completed, 15 locomotives have been received, while Sh15 billion has been paid out as land compensation.
Some Sh84 billion has been used under local content, with people living along the railway line getting direct employment. Others have benefited through delivery of goods and services to the project.
The CS said 60 Kenyan students have been offered scholarship to pursue railway and train-related engineering courses in Chinese universities.
Another 300 technicians trained by the CRBC at the Railway Training Institute are currently attached to the SGR project.
CRBC President Lu said his company has offered Sh1 billion to develop an engineering school at the Railway Training School.
The meeting discussed phase 1B of the SGR project, which will run from Nairobi through Naivasha to Narok where mobilisation has started with land acquisition and construction set to begin in April. The meeting was also attended by Transport PS Irungu Nyakera, Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina and Chinese Ambassador Liu Xianfa.
The first batch of locomotives that will ply the SGR arrived in the country in January. The locomotives were sourced from China.