Standard Gauge Railway Mai Mahiu train station ready to go

The extension of the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Nairobi to Naivasha is now fully complete and ready for commissioning.

A dredger being used by the railway workers during construction (PHOTO/David Gichuru)
This follows the completion of the Ngong section, which had been delayed for close to a year following a dispute over the compensation to affected landowners.

Engineers from the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC)-the contractor working on the project have embarked on a month long safety testing exercise along the 120Km stretch of the new railway line.

According to the company’s technician, Fredrick Andera the testing is aimed at checking the track, communication, signaling system while adjusting the defects ahead of commissioning.

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Adera said the process would continue to ensure the railway’s system meets the requisite safety standards after the stalled section was completed.

“In this highly specialized system, tracks, trains, signaling and communications are integrated into a safe operating unit that feeds information about track use and activity to the Centralized Traffic Control,” he said.

Addressing the press after visiting the Mai Mahiu station in Naivasha, the officer said the system is used by train dispatchers responsible for the overall command of the operation, thus ensuring that trains are routed safely and in a highly seamless sequence.

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“Safety management by dispatchers is a symbolic factor that sets rail transport apart from other modes of transport,” he noted.

His sentiments were echoed by an engineer from the company Oscar Khagabo who said priority will be given to passenger trains in keeping with international best practices where the particular train has the right of way whenever it meets a freight train.

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During an earlier tour in April, a senior engineer from the company Xue Zhiming assured that they had mapped out the fault zones in the Rift Valley that lie within the designated SGR corridor, before embarking on the construction of the SGR Phase 2A.

“When we began planning the construction of the SGR Phase 2A, we mobilized many seasoned geologists from the renowned China Seismological Bureau to conduct a thorough geological survey in the seismic belt along the railway line," he said.

He said during construction of the project the contractor determined the safest seismic fortification to be implemented if the construction was to meet an earthquake resistance intensity of eight, in the area between Embulbul in Ngong and Duka Moja in Narok.

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Standard Gauge RailwayChina Communication Construction Company