Transport Cabinet Secretary has said that 99 per cent of the civil works on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Nairobi is complete.
Mr James Macharia said the rail tracks have been laid and the first train is set to run from Mombasa to Nairobi on schedule on June 1.
“Test-runs of locomotives, rail tracks, signalling and communication facilities is ongoing,” Mr Macharia said on Monday at State House Nairobi, when he briefed President Uhuru Kenyatta about the progress of the project.
The quarterly meeting was also attended by China Communications Construction Company Vice President Chen Yun and China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) President Lu Shan.
Mr Macharia said Sh15 billion has been paid out as land compensation and that construction of 33 stations is almost complete and 15 locomotives have already been received.
He said Sh84 billion has been used under local content with people living along the railway line getting direct employment while others have benefitted through the delivery of goods and services to the project.
The Cabinet Secretary revealed that 60 Kenyan students have also been offered scholarships to pursue various railway and train related engineering courses in Chinese universities.
Another 300 technicians trained by CRBC at the Railway Training Institute are currently attached to the SGR project.
Mr Lu said his company has offered Sh1 billion to develop an engineering school at the Railway Training School.
Phase 1B of the SGR project, which will run from Nairobi through Naivasha to Narok was also discussed.
Mobilisation of resources has started with land acquisition and construction set to begin in April.
The meeting was also attended by Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera, Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa.
President Kenyatta commended the progress saying project was important in transforming the country’s transport sector.