Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga on Thursday revealed that some refurbished Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) en route to Nairobi, had been loaded into trucks in Mallorca, Spain.

The DMUs will then be taken to Barcelona, where they will be shipped to Mombasa on July 21, 2020. The diesel trains will arrive at Mombasa port after 25 days which is about August 16.

A DMU is a multiple-unit train which is powered by a diesel engine.

Kenya Railways has spent Sh1.15 billion to acquire 11 refurbished DMUs, five coaches and spare parts from Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca (SFM). The DMUs can last for 23-25 years.

The diesel trains will ease congestion

With the DMUs, the Nairobi Commuter Rail (NCR) hopes to increase the number of train commuters to three million in a month from the current 300,000. Consequently, this will reduce congestion on the Nairobi roads.

“The NCR is a project that aims to modernise and expand underutilised railway transport infrastructure facilities within Nairobi. This is to attract passenger traffic from the roads, thus reducing congestion and creating an efficient and affordable mass rapid transit transport system for the city,” Kenya Railways MD Philip Mainga said.

Mainga noted that they will also modernise a 150km track and improve infrastructure on four different routes from the CBD. They will introduce modern rolling stock and build a new 6.5 km railway line to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

This comes in the backdrop of the launch of the JKIA- James Gichuru road expressway.