Kenyans are naturally inquisitive, more so about projects that generate public interest. One such project is the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
A question that isn’t going away is why Ethiopia has managed to build an electrified Standard Gauge Railway for less money than Kenya, yet ours is not even electric?
Engineers that are part of the SGR Kenya team have taken to Facebook to address that question in detail by providing a detailed comparison that provides an overview of how different the two projects are.
A quick comparison is drawn to the difference in speed, “It’s good to note that electric does not always mean super-fast. The Ethiopian line is only 40km/h faster than the Kenyan line.”
The Facebook post goes further to cast a light upon Ethiopia’s ability to produce enough power to run an electric railway line. “Ethiopia’s electricity generation is about to explode with the construction of the 6,000mw Grand Renaissance Dam , which will give the train service stable power supply. (Kenya Power comes to mind)”
Another reason that has contributed to the hefty bill on the Kenyan line is social and cultural factor that has meant that the Kenya Railway Corporation has had to listen to voices of communities that will be affected by the railway line such as environmentalists who are vocal about the impact of the project on Kenya’s wildlife.
Other issues that have led to the huge cost include land acquisition, the construction of bridges and stations.
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) was retained by Kenya Railways (KR) to undertake phase 1 of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR Project while Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group, Apec Consortium Limited and Edon Consultants International (TSDI/APEC/EDON Consortium) undertake design review and construction supervision of the contracts to ensure the quality standards are met.
A detailed analysis is given in the following pictures