How I Became a Superintendent at SGR Dispatch Centre

April 19, 2022

Brian Boro Mbugua is an assistant superintendent at the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) dispatch centre. He has been in the railway industry for five years.

The 30-year-old shared his career path with the Sunday Nation.


“I was born and raised in Nairobi near Mimosa Court, Ngong Road. I went to Kilimani Primary School, then St Joseph’s High school. I later transitioned to Mt Kenya University and studied business information technology. Out of interest, I went ahead to study philosophy at the University of Nairobi. Later, I went to the Railway Training Institute where I studied station mastery. While working, I went to Beijing Jiatong University to study railway management. This was sponsored by the SGR operator, Afristar.

“I started off as a station attendant at Afristar. Here, my duties were to receive and depart trains, as well as ensure the safety of all trains that pass along the station. I was later taken for training in Beijing and subsequently promoted.

“Later, I trained as a train dispatcher. My duties here were to plan and facilitate the movement of all trains across all stations, right from the departure station to the destination station while strictly abiding by safety regulations and control measures set by the company.

“I later got promoted to assistant superintendent; my duties are to ensure operations are up to standard by supervising staff and drafting daily operation plans. Consequently, I do follow-ups on loading and unloading operations at Port Reitz and the ICD (Inland Container Depot) and ensure the department achieves production goals. I have several fond memories in my career such as when I led the train operation training class in 2018; when I won Afristar’s technical skill competition in 2019; and when I travelled to China to study railway management.

“The key driver for my growth has been surrounding myself with the right team and having a problem-solving mentality, and being persistent in what I do. Also, I strive to learn new skills, have patience and always trust the process. I make small steps every day that lead to my major goal; I love setting goals, which I pursue with dedication and enthusiasm.

“On the people who have been quite instrumental in my career growth, I get inspiration and support from my parents and family members, who have gone a long way towards moulding me as a person. The guidance and mentorship by different managers at Afristar, the SGR operator, have also catapulted me. The relationship I have built with the teachers who taught me railway operations always keeps me going.

“My current role involves organising transport production analysis to continuously improve the quality of dispatch work and dispatch organisation; strictly implementing rules and regulations; supervising safety standards of train dispatchers; maintaining reasonable distribution of rolling stocks to ensure smooth operations at Port Reitz station and Nairobi station; and handling rescue operations, equipment failure, and abnormal situations.

“My advice to the youth is that they should be self-driven, no matter the challenges they encounter. When they get an opportunity, they should try and maximise it; the youth should also try and be innovative to fill in the gaps in the job market as the world evolves.

 “I plan to improve my transport management skills to advance in my career. I also intend to build a strong, focused and self-driven team, and try out different roles. Separately, I want to teach and mentor others in my field and try something out of my comfort zone. Socially, I intend to learn how to play the violin.”

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