The government through the Kenya Railways (KR) has defended the planned acquisition of 11 secondhand commuter trains from Spain at a cost of Sh10 billion.
In a statement sent to newsrooms, KR says the trains are much cheaper compared to purchasing new ones.
The government agency further explains that France, a first world country, has also acquired similar commuter trains and dismissed claims of vested interests in the deal.
“Before the contract for the acquisition of the 11 refurbished DMUs (diesel multiple units) is signed, every effort will be made to ensure there are no illegalities and that the interests of Kenyans are safeguarded."
" The government is committed to providing an efficient, safe and reliable commuter rail service,” KR says.
KR further explains that each of the 11 trains has a lifespan of between 23 and 25 years.
KR says nine new railway stations including Kenyatta University, Umoja, Kibera, Thogoto, Mbagathi Way, Kitengela, Dagoretti and Strathmore University will be built for the train service.
The train service will be launched alongside the bus rapid transit (BRT) system as part of the government's plan to decongest the city.
The deal for the purchase of the trains was struck in Barcelona in September 2018 by a team of 11 officials from Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and the World Bank.
Also present were Principal Secretaries Charles Hinga and Esther Koimmet.
The locomotives were manufactured by Spain's Construcciones and Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) between 1994 and 2003.