Commuters in Nairobi will get hourly rides on the diesel-propelled trains after Kenya received the second batch from Spain in a Sh1.1 billion plan to decongest road traffic.

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) chairman Omudho Awitta said the six trains that arrived in the country last week will see the corporation increase its frequencies- relieving hundreds of city commuters.

The first five batch of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) that were launched last year have been operating on routes such as Syokimau –Nairobi and Embakasi –Nairobi.

The train on the Syokimau –Nairobi route operates five times per day while Embakasi-Nairobi train operates three times daily.

“The six batch of DMU’s have arrived in the country from Spain. We will now have trains running every hour across the Nairobi metropolitan area,” KRC chairman Omudho Awitta told the Business Daily in an interview yesterday.

Mr Awitta said once the trains arrive in Nairobi, the fleet will be used to complement operations on Nairobi-Embakasi, Nairobi-Ruiru, Nairobi-Kikuyu and Nairobi-Syokimau routes as well as the busy Nairobi-Athi River routes.

The acquisition of additional diesel powered passenger wagons is part of KRC’s masterplan, which aims to increase capacity on commuter services in the capital from 13,000 to 132,000 passengers a day by 2022.

The DMUs can carry a maximum 128 seated and 130 standing passengers. That means at maximum coupling of coaches, the trains can carry 774 passengers.

Mr Awitta said the trains bought from the island Mallorca were discharged from use after the island completed modernisation that saw it adopt electric trains.

The revamped network is expected to attract a substantial portion of the 1.5 million city commuters who travel into Nairobi’s central business district every day, said Mr Awitta.

Nairobi’s matatus are a major source of employment for drivers and conductors as well as investors who rake in billions of shillings daily ferrying over 200,000 people daily.