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General information

Some general information about the railways in Kenya, taken from Wikipedia:

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), also Kenya Railways (KR) is the national railway of Kenya. Established in 1977, KR is a state corporation.

The original Uganda Railway was transformed into the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation (EARC) after World War I. The EARC managed the railways of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanganyika until the collapse of the East African Community in 1977. Subsequently KR took over the Kenyan part of the EARC.

Like the other members of the EAC Kenya utilizes the narrow gauge track gauge of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) (metre gauge). The reason was that when the British started the railway construction at the end of the nineteenth century they utilized material and workers from India. The Indian gauge and rolling stock was 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in).

As of 2006 much of the overall railway system has been neglected or is in disrepair. Nevertheless the mainline from Mombasa to Kisumu is operative though at reduced speed. For passengers, the "Jumbo Kenya Deluxe" connects Nairobi and Mombasa. The fourteen hour overnight trip runs three times a week either eastbound or westbound on the single track. The "Port Florence Express" connects Nairobi with Kisumu.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya_Railways_Corporation
 

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From Railway Gazette:

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/...lley-railways-commissions-ge-locomotives.html

Rift Valley Railways commissions GE locomotives
18 Sep 2014





KENYA: Rift Valley Railways held a ceremony on September 18 to mark the commissioning of the first three of 20 second-hand GE B23-7 locomotives which have been acquired from the USA at a cost of US$25m and converted from standard to metre gauge.

The Kenya – Uganda railway concessionaire said they are the first locomotives delivered to Kenya or Uganda since 1987. The remaining 17 are scheduled to arrive over the next five months.

An US$20m asset financing deal with Standard Bank of South Africa and CFC Stanbic Bank has covered 80% of the cost of the locomotives

...
 

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The amount of farcical information circulating about these locomotives in the Kenyan press beggars belief. These locomotives are not new. They are refurbished very tired B23-7 which have been converted to C-C, with chopper couplers

These units were built between 1977 and 1984 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE_B23-7 In age they fall between the Class 93 (delivered in 1977) and 94 (delivered in 1987)

All of the cores were pulled from long term storage (up to 10 years). The US mainline companies auctioned the units following withdrawal at scrap pricing, which is why US preowned loco dealers such as NREC can afford to keep them sitting around for so long. Used loco dealers in the States do not generally own their stock, they operate on floorplans from banks and financiers (similar to car dealerships), so when the core is sold they require a healthy margin to cover their risk and the interest payments on the floorplan. In the US it is a legal requirement that all locomotives with a financial encumbrance be periodically reported to the Surface Transportation Board. These returns are public documents

A number of B23-7 have been broken up for parts, the Grindrod/NREC locomotive building JV in Pretoria is currently building locos using salvaged B23-7 prime movers in new fabricated frames/bogies (RL22SCN). The 7FDL-12 rated @ 2250HP was not overly stressed, so does not have the same tendency to stretch the bottom end that occurs in this family of engines at high HP settings. The crankcases of 7FDL-16 @ 4020HP in the Australian NR Class are not salvageable when the locos receive half life rebuilds at 16/17 years. Replaced with new OEM crankcases. This stretch problem is why higher HP GE 7FDL powered locos in the States have a finite life, when compared with EMD who use a fabricated crankcase

My gut feeling is that the RVR purchase was rushed in order to get locos on the ground to appease political aspirations, and keep the more belligerent law makers off the company's back. Quality was sacrificed to obtain locos in quantity for a quick political fix. There will be no learning curve associated with these units, under the tin they are U26C with the engines rated at a lower HP. With a higher centre of gravity compared with the U26C, it will be interesting to see how these "C23-7" rock and roll on poorly maintained track
 

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thenairobidude
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Standard Gauge Railway
Phase I​

Commencing: December 2014
Completion: Mid-2018
Connecting: Mombasa and Nairobi
Distance: 485km approx.
Amount of track: 609km
Railway stations: 40 (total amount of stations btn Mombasa and Nairobi)
Contractor: China Road and Bridge Corporation
Amount of workers: 30,000 Kenyans + 2,500 Chinese
Partner states: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan
Cost for Phase I: Kes. 327bn (US$ 3.6bn)
Funding source for Phase I: (90% China Exim Bank) (10% Government of Kenya)
Estimated cost of entire project: Kes. 1.3 trillion (US$ 13.2bn)

Additional to be included in cost for Phase I:
60 Locomotives (Engines)
1,620 Freight Wagons
40 Passenger Coaches
New Workshop for maintenance(Independent of Current one) Official term Locomotive and Rolling Stock Maintenance Depots In Nairobi

RTI (Railway Training Institute) Will be a Regional Centre for East Africa.

Railway Signalling will be automatic monitored via a control room in Nairobi

The railway design and construction will accommodate future electrification and double stacking of container the underpasses and viaducts are provided at short intervals across the 140 kilometres of the line within Tsavo National Park as required by the National Environmental Management Authority (Kenya).

Phase II: Nairobi to Kampala with branch lines to Kisumu, Juba and Kigali






 

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thenairobidude
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Standard Gauge Railway
Phase I​

Commencing: December 2014
Completion: Mid-2018
Connecting: Mombasa and Nairobi
Distance: 485km approx.
Amount of track: 609km
Railway stations: 40 (total amount of stations btn Mombasa and Nairobi)
Contractor: China Road and Bridge Corporation
Amount of workers: 30,000 Kenyans + 2,500 Chinese
Partner states: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan
Cost for Phase I: Kes. 327bn (US$ 3.6bn)
Funding source for Phase I: (90% China Exim Bank) (10% Government of Kenya)
Estimated cost of entire project: Kes. 1.3 trillion (US$ 13.2bn)


Well the passenger trains are going to be DF4D but the freight trains are going to be DF8B

Only 4 DF4D (Passenger trains) and 56 DF8B (Freight trains) slated for initial delivery.


Bridges:
There is going to be complete grid separation i.e. roads and rail won't meet at any point.


Stations:
40 Stations: 2 District stations, 5 Intermidiate stations and 33 passing stations


 

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thenairobidude
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China rail contractor to buy Sh130bn (US$ 1.5bn) local materials

Business Daily

The Chinese company building the new Nairobi-Mombasa railway has been restricted to buying local materials worth Sh130 billion (US$ 1.5bn) or 40 per cent of project costs. Transport secretary Michael Kamau says the move will boost the economy during the construction phase that starts in September and is expected to end in June 2017.

China Road and Bridge Corporation has been appointed to construct the initial Kenyan leg of the new line, despite widespread criticism that there was no competitive tendering for the work.

Sand, cement, electric cables, galvanised iron and steel top list of items to be bought locally during the construction of 609.3km at a cost of Sh327 billion contract price. This is set to benefit cement makers as well as steel firms and protect the local economy from head-to-head competition with established Asian suppliers.

“This is so far the best deal with any of our development partners,” Mr Kamau said yesterday at a symposium organised by the Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC) to sensitise the private sector about the mega project.

“We have set an example for the whole region on engagements with our Asian friends, China in particular.”

The project is designed to cut transport costs and boost regional trade and the next phase will run from Nairobi to Malaba to link to the Uganda and Rwanda sections of the standard gauge railway.

“The project has been designed for Kenyan people to register gains from the first day implementation,” said Mr Han Chunlin, economic and commercial consular at Chinese Embassy in Nairobi. “Apart from direct benefits like technology transfer and buying of local materials, the China Road & Bridge Corporation will also have to fulfill its social responsibility.”

Kenya will receive 90 per cent or Sh294.3 billion of the Mombasa-Nairobi construction price from the China Exim Bank in September. The State has been raising its 10 per cent portion (Sh32.7 billion) through the 1.5 per cent railway development levy.

The government says it has since paid out Sh6.6 billion to the contractor to enable it start its work.

“The government can raise its portion of the SGR budget in just two financial years but we intend to continue collecting the levy in future to finance land acquisition and commuter train,” said Mr Kamau.

Apart from building materials, the money will flow into the local economy through land acquisition, security services, skilled and manual labour, logistics, petroleum products, house construction and fencing. Others include supply of explosives, haulage equipment, vehicles and safety equipment.
 

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thenairobidude
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Signing of deals for the SGR Phase I
Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenyan President) and Li Keqiang (Chinese Premier) at the signing of the funding deal




Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenyan President) and Wen Gang (President of China Roads and Bridge corp) meeting



 

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thenairobidude
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3,894 Posts
Standard Gauge Railway
Phase I​

Commencing: December 2014
Completion: Mid-2018
Connecting: Mombasa and Nairobi
Distance: 485km approx.
Amount of track: 609km
Railway stations: 40 (total amount of stations btn Mombasa and Nairobi)
Contractor: China Road and Bridge Corporation
Amount of workers: 30,000 Kenyans + 2,500 Chinese
Partner states: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan
Cost for Phase I: Kes. 327bn (US$ 3.6bn)
Funding source for Phase I: (90% China Exim Bank) (10% Government of Kenya)
Estimated cost of entire project: Kes. 1.3 trillion (US$ 13.2bn)

Commencement of work SGR Phase I
Megaprojects


Section 7

SGR Project site office at Section 7 - Emali to Sultan Hamud

Concrete batching plant

Large bridge 1622m​
 

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Wow, it's like an entire east African rail network is being built almost from scratch! Thanks for sharing the info; here's to hoping it all comes to fruition!
 

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forumer #29
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Three follow-up questions:

What gauges are neighbouring regions of Africa using?
Will there be direct connections between the East African network and other regions?
What signalling system will be used? ERTMS?
 

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thenairobidude
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3,894 Posts
Three follow-up questions:
What gauges are neighbouring regions of Africa using?
Currently
3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge Tanzania (south), Zambia, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan.

1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) Meter gauge Tanzania (north), Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia.

950 mm (3 ft 1 3⁄8 in) Eritrea

No rail Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia

Will there be direct connections between the East African network and other regions?
Yes, there are plans for direct connections for every country neighbouring Kenya except Somalia.







By building a new line from Lamu to Juba, this is what they hope to accomplish in the long term.


The Lamu-Isiolo(Archer's Post)-Juba and Lamu-Isiolo(Archer's Post)-Moyale-Addis Ababa line fall under the LAPSSET project.

What signalling system will be used? ERTMS?
As of now no signalling system has been identified.
 

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forumer #29
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Thank you for the answers :)

Great to see the big improvements in Kenyan (and other African) infrastructure that's starting to happen.
 
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