Kenya Railways - Why These Old Spanish Trains Are the Cure to Our Traffic Mess

A commuter train of the Nairobi Commuter Rail Service arrives at the Dandora station during a strike by the Federation of Public Transport operators in Nairobi (file photo).
26 February 2019

Kenya Railways (KR) has defended its decision to import 11 old Spanish trains which will ooperate as commuter trains in Nairobi.

The corporation said the Spanish trains are much cheaper and that France, a first world country, has bought similar ones. It claimed that the trains have a lifespan of 23 years.

The purpose of the purchase, KR said, is to see the number of people who seek rail transport increase from the current 13,000 a day to 132,000 passengers per day.

"Revamping in the commuter Rail Services will result in 132,000 passengers per day being transported compared to the 13,000 passengers transported daily at present," KR said in the paid advert on Tuesday.

VESTED INTERESTS

The corporation rubbished claims there are vested interests in the deal between the Ministry of Transport and Spain which gave Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca a contract to facilitate the purchase of the trains.

KR assured the public that "every effort will be made to ensure that there are no illegalities and that the interests of Kenyans are safeguarded."

KR also said that there will be new stations added across Nairobi. This will include stations at Strathmore University, Kenyatta University, Umoja, Kibera, Thogoto, Mbagathi Way, Kitengela and Dagoreti.

On Sunday, Nation revealed that Kenya was planning to buy the used trains -- some of them as old as 25 years -- in a Sh10 billion plan for a commuter train service and high capacity buses in Nairobi.

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