The Kenya Railways has received the first batch of freight wagons that will be deployed on the standard gauge railway.
Freight wagons are railway vehicles that are used for cargo transportation.
They were offloaded yesterday under the supervision of the China Road and Bridges Corporation, the contractor for the railway project.
The company is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project.
Such a contractor is ordinarily made responsible for all the works from design, procurement, construction, to commissioning and handover of the project.
The wagons arrived aboard two ships on February 10.
“The rolling stock has started to arrive 106 days to the launch date, which gives us reasonable time to start our testing and commissioning in readiness for trial operations as we bring on board the rail operator on 1 June 2017.
This is the first batch of the 1,620 wagons which will be used in the movement of cargo between Mombasa and Nairobi,” said Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina in a statement.
Kenya Railways has so far received eight freight haulage heavy duty locomotives for mainline use out of expected 43, two shunting locomotives out of expected eight, and two passenger locomotives with another three expected by May to complete the order.
It has also received a total of 32 passenger coaches out of the 40 on order.
The freight locomotives are each expected to haul an estimated 4,000 tonnes a trip, which will cargo on the railway rise by 22 million tonnes annually. The railway has the capacity to hold 850 metres long freight trains moving at 80 kilometres an hour.
Mr Maina said the railway, whose construction is now entering homestretch with a commissioning date of June 2017, is on course.
The line is expected to significantly cut the journey time between Nairobi and Mombasa, changing the nature of transport between the two cities.
It will run from Nairobi to Mombasa and eventually link to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia have shown interest to link their countries as well.