KENYA: The five diesel multiple-units procured by Kenya Railways Corp to expand its Nairobi commuter operations were formally launched into service on November 10.


The first train was flagged off at Nairobi Central Station by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was joined at the event by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development James Macharia and senior railway officials.


Originally built for Serveis Ferroviaris de Mallorca by CAF in 1995-2003, the metre-gauge Class 61 DMUs were bought by KRC earlier this year, having become surplus following electrification of the Balearic island’s railways. They will be used to boost capacity and operate more frequent services on the routes radiating from Nairobi Central to Ruiru, Athi River, Embakasi Village and Kikuyu.

ke-nairobi-DMU-first train to Syokimau-201110

Before departing on a special train to Embakasi and Syokimau, the president unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of upgrading work at the station which has been underway since July as part of the commuter rail revitalisation programme.

During his visit, Kenyatta also inaugurated a freight transit shed at KRC’s Bomaline Yard, which is intended to deal with small consignments. According to Macharia, the new customs facility will help to decongest the Nairobi Inland Container Depot where traffic is transferred to and from the Standard Gauge Railway.