Government Justifies Purchase of Old Spanish Trains

  • Kenya Railways came out to defend the purchase of 11 old trains on Tuesday stating that they are cheaper, have a longer shelf life of between 23 to 25 years and that they are used by France which is a First world country.

    The 11 trains and their spare parts will cost Kshs 1.15 billion shillings.

    According to an advert on Daily Nation, Kenya Railways Corporation has refuted claims that 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.

    Their purchase will require the construction of nine new stations at Kenyatta University, Umoja, Kibera, Thogoto, Mbagathi Way, Kitengela, Dagoretti and Strathmore University

    The commuter railway network is set for rehabilitation with new lines set to be added onto the 150Km stretch of commuter rail lines already existing in Nairobi.

    The statement further indicated that Kenya Railways is determined to ensure the legal procedures of acquiring the trains is followed.

    “Before the contract for the acquisition of the 11 refurbished DMUs (diesel multiple units) is signed, every effort will be made to ensure there are no illegalities and that the interests of Kenyans are safeguarded.  The government is committed to providing an efficient, safe and reliable commuter rail service,” Kenya Railways noted.

    The deal was brokered in a trip to Barcelona in September 2018 by a team of 11 officials drawn from Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), the World Bank and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

    The Spanish trains can only comprise a maximum of three coaches with each carrying 128 seated and 130 standing passengers at full capacity.

    Revamping of the rail sector is set to increase the daily number of passengers from 13,000 to 132,000 commuters according to Kenya Railways Corporation.