Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

It isn’t nice to mock. Still…

Posted in Business, Outside Europe by Chairman Pip on 21 February 2011

I’ve come across a story that has been published in The East African, a weekly news publication covering all of that region. This particular story concerns Kenya Railways Corporation and their attempt to find a private operator to run the commuter rail network in Nairobi, which is to receive $100m worth of investment to expand it as a means of easing traffic congestion in the city. Part of this is intended to see the replacement of the current locomotive hauled trains with new diesel multiple units. To illustrate this, there is a picture that, as often seems to be the case when overseas publications write about the railways, is of a British train. The picture is captioned “A modern locomotive with diesel electric multiple units” (allowing for the fact that the first language of the person that wrote it is likely not English). But the picture is of a Class 421 EMU, built between 1964 and 1972. Indeed, it is in fact this picture of 1498 “Farringford”, one of the two units that operated on the Lymington Branch Line until last May. Now, one doesn’t mean to sound rude, but surely it can’t have been that difficult to find an image of a multiple unit that has been introduced in at least the last five years? If Wikipedia is good for something, it’s at least good for background, and its pages on railway vehicles used in Great Britain are very thorough.

“Kenya seeks operator to run $100m Nairobi commuter railway system”

The Class 421 - can it really be described as the cutting edge of railway technology?

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