From Right to Left , Amb. Katureebe Tayebwa , Consul General, Uganda Consulate Mombasa on the 1st Right, with Eng. Beatrice Achieng of Kenya Railways Corporation (2nd Right) and officials of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC)
As part of the Consulate's mandate of following up on regional infrastructures under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects and learning best practices from neighbors, Amb.Katureebe accompanied by the Third Secretary Ms. Nabbanja Ashah, conducted an on spot tour of the standard gauge railway on 31st March 2017 from the Mombasa Port Station - Marshalling Yard were the cargo locomotives are expected to embark up to Nairobi, as well as toured the Mombasa Terminus Station which is expected to be the main station for passengers and other smaller sub stations which included Miasenyi station, and Voi station.
He was conducted through the tour by Eng. Beatrice Achieng of Kenya Railways Corporation as well as officials from the China Road and Bridge Corporation(CRBC).He also inspected the control rooms of the various stations which will be responsible for coordinating the traffic on the tracks and also visited the Voi Kasarani Camp Laboratory which was charged with quality control, in here different raw materials used in the construction of the standard gauge railway were subjected to different tests to ensure that they met the required standards.
The Standard Gauge Railway is expected to be officially launched to the public for operation on 1st June 2017. At the moment a wrap is being done on the first phase of the project i.e. the phase from Mombasa to Nairobi and numerous tests are being carried out in preparation for the launch. A total of 56 locomotives are to be brought in that will carry out the operations, 43 of them will be used for freight and (are expected to carry 216 TEU's weighing up to 4000 tonnes), 8 for shunting and 5 as passenger trains. The standard Gauge Railway is expected to reduce the time taken to travel to and from Mombasa to Nairobi as it will take four hours and 25 minutes compared to the 12 hours taken by bus, it will also reduce traffic and delays on the high ways of cargo trucks bound to Nairobi and those in transit to other destinations.
Amb. Katureebe also visited the Mazeras Bridge, which is one of the many other bridges in the SGR project that cross the roads. In total the SGR has 29km of bridge and over 50km of bridges and culverts.
The project was supposed to run for an estimated period of 60 months but was completed in half the time.
The Consul General's tour of the SGR was in a bid to learn best practices on how Kenya has managed to complete the project ahead of time, how the issue of local content was addressed, during the tour he was informed that 30,000 Kenyans are employed by the project both as casual workers and technical persons and some of them have gone further to acquire technical skills and expertise through their interaction with the contractors in the fields they are assigned, how quality control has been guaranteed when it comes to materials among others, so that the findings can assist Uganda that is yet to embark on the construction of the same.