The Nairobi Commuter Rail service has been handed a boost with the planned arrival of six more Diesel Multiple-Units (DMUs).
Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) says the additional commuter trains are expected in the country by the end of this month. The trains will increase the frequency of trains plying the different routes across the city.
The 6 DMUs are part of 11 DMUs acquired from Majorca State in Spain at a cost of Sh1.15. Five of the DMUs have been in operation since November of last year.
“We have been revitalising the commuter lines in Nairobi. This started with the modification of the old coaches to increase the capacity by including space for standing passengers. This however turned out not to be very efficient because of the age of the locomotives,” KRC Chairman Umudho Awitta said.
“It is because of this that we opted for the DMUs. We ordered 11 from Majorca, Spain. Five of these were delivered towards the end of last year. The remaining six will be arriving in the country by the end of this month or early April,’ he added.
The DMU units have a remaining useful life of 23-25 years.
According to the Transport ministry, more than 15,000 commuters use the rail service daily.
“We plan to run frequent services and the residents can access the central station in a matter of minutes throughout the day. Instead of taking two hours in traffic, they can be in the central business district in 20 minutes,” Awitta said.
Adding: “We intend to have hourly trains running in different directions.”