A further 20 passenger trains have been delivered by China’s CRRC to Kenya’s capital for its Mombassa-Nairobi rail link. 

The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was built by Chinese companies as part of the “Belt and Road Initiative”.  

The trains have been provided by CRRC as part of a 2023 contract to populate the Chinese-built SGR.

CRRC said the rolling stock is made up of first-class and second-class cars, dining cars, power generation cars, and business-class cars. 

The passenger trains will take the line’s rolling stock to more than 60 units provided by CRRC. The first 41 trains were delivered in 2017. The Chinese state-owned company has also instituted a maintenance and repair shop in Kenya to provide upkeep services to for the line. 

Kenya’s capital and most important port city had been connected by narrow gauge rail since 1896, but the line was slow and inefficient. Former president Uhuru Kenyatta made improving the connection a priority, and described the link as a “new chapter” upon its 2017 opening. “After 122 years, Kenyans have got their new railway at last,” he said. 

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Along with the passenger trains, China’s Ministry of Transport said it provided 230 freight rail wagons for the Mombassa link in March 2024.