The brand new SGR train service has experienced its first mishap barely 3 weeks after launch.
On Saturday, a passenger train headed to the Mariakani station hit a cow killing it instantly. According to reports, the cow managed to get on the line after elephants destroyed a section of the fence.
An official who sought anonymity said that after hitting the cow, the train only slowed down for a few seconds before proceeding with the journey. There was no visible damage on the locomotive or the line, and only a few passengers found out what had just happened.
That section of the railway is popular with pastoralists. “Herders graze their animals in the area because the grass is greener on the other side of the line,” an SGR official told the Star.
The railway has continued to face opposition since it passes through national parks, and this incident may only give the conservationists more ammunition.
It will clearly require constant checks to ensure the integrity of the fence holds. Otherwise a herd of elephants might find their way on the line and cause derailment.