President Kenyatta inspects Standard Gauge Railways project
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday inspected the Sh327 billion ($3.8 billion) Standard Gauge Railway Mombasa-Nairobi railway project that is being constructed by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) at the Tsavo Super Bridge construction site in Taita Taveta County.
During the tour the President had an on-site office meeting at a China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) campsite in Voi, during which he received a report on the project progress.
Since commencement, the project has made major progress. There has been a breakthrough in land acquisition, with 87 per cent of the total length of the whole line available for construction.
CRBC has also made progress on the main civil works and has completed over 28 per cent of the subgrade, 23 per cent of the bridge works and 29 per cent of the culverts.
It has produced thousands of railway sleepers and T-beams at its Kathekani and Emali production facilities.
This puts the project on track with 50 per cent of the civil works set for completion by end of 2015.
TSAVO SUPER BRIDGE
CRBC is also undertaking trial track-laying along the whole, with the actual track-laying expected to start in November this year.
The company said trial track laying, construction of the major station as well as locomotive procurement will be undertaken in the next half year.
The President also toured the construction of the Tsavo Super Bridge, which will be an architectural masterpiece once complete.
The 1987.7 meters long bridge, with the highest point of 35.1 meters, will run over Tsavo River and existing meter gauge railway.
It is designed to ensure minimal disruption to wildlife within Tsavo National Park while at the same time giving passengers a panoramic view of the Park.
Once complete, passenger trains using SGR will cruise at speeds of 120kph while cargo trains will do 80kph.
This will shorten time taken between Mombasa and Nairobi to about four and a half hours for passengers and eight hours for cargo.
During the construction phase, it is expected to create about 30,000 jobs for Kenyans, and contribute 1.5 per cent to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).