Kenya has purchased 11 used diesel engine trains from an island in Spain and the order is soon to be shipped.

The refurbished Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) are expected to arrive at the final destination in mid-August.

The DMUs are intended to modernize the commuter trains in the city.

The Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga on Thursday, July 16 made the announcement on his Twitter account.

He also shared a collage of photos of the trains as they were loaded onto trucks in Mallorca to enroute Barcelona.

Hinga said from Barcelona, they would then be shipped to Mombasa on July 21, 2020.

According to the Daily Nation, Hinga was not available to give further details on this development.

DMUs are double train cars that can also be customized to have three cars based on the demand in passenger numbers.

A double train car unit can accommodate 300 people at a go (both seating and standing).

A triple unit can do with 450 passengers. However, combining two DMUs doubles the capacity.

According to Kenya Railways, the agency negotiated to acquire the 11 refurbished DMUs, five coaches and spare parts at a cost of Ksh1.15 billion.

They traded with the Spain-based company, Serveis Feroviaris de Mallorca.

The units have 23-25 years economic life usefulness.

Explaining why the trains were bought, Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga said in a past interview that it the decision was based on a study on the Nairobi Commuter Rail (NCR).

Passengers hanging off a commuter train in Nairobi
Passengers hanging off a commuter train in Nairobi. Photo, Courtesy

He revealed that the plan is to decongest the city roads while at the same time providing city dwellers with a cheaper and reliable means of transport.

“The NCR is a project that aims to modernize and expand underutilized railway transport infrastructure facilities within Nairobi to attract passenger traffic from the roads, thus reducing congestion and creating an efficient and affordable mass rapid transit transport system for the city,” Mainga said.

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