Government Procures 430 Wagons to Enhance Freight Services

March 5, 2024

The government has commissioned  430 new wagons to enhance efficiency in the country’s freight services.

The arrival of these wagons will also expedite the clearance of a backlog of 100,000 tonnes, which includes steel pellets, coils, and other loose cargo at the port of Mombasa.

During the commissioning exercise in Mombasa on Monday, Mohamed Daghar, the PS of the State Department for Transport, said the new wagons would increase the capacity of both the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Metre Gauge Railway (MGR). They will gradually replace the current wagons, which are over 40 years old.

The wagons feature various specifications and additional safety enhancements. They can carry double-stacked containers with load capacities of 70 tonnes for the SGR and 64 tonnes for the MGR.

The final shipment of 20 wagons is scheduled to arrive in May, bringing the total number of wagons acquired this year to 500, with 300 designated for the SGR and 200 for the MGR.

“It’s really important to increase efficiency at the Port of Mombasa and one way of increasing efficiency is to ensure that the dwell time and ensure both containerized and conventional cargo is discharged efficiently and quickly,” said Daghar at the Portreitz Freight Station.

The PS emphasized that the most effective method for unloading bulk cargo such as steel pellets and coils is by utilizing the train system, whether it be the SGR or MGR.

He affirmed the government’s commitment to providing efficient rail transport for both containerized and conventional cargo to neighboring landlocked countries.

Daghar also expressed the government’s determination to maintain the competitiveness and efficiency of the northern corridor, which extends from the Port of Mombasa to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We want a situation where Kenya Railways will be scavenging for containers. We want to ensure that our yards efficiently transport all the cargo from the port of Mombasa to reduce our dwell time to two days or less,” said Daghar.

The government has undertaken the rehabilitation of the entire MGR line in the country, with only a small section remaining between Voi and Taveta that connects with the northern part of Tanzania.

The PS disclosed that the State Department of Transport, in collaboration with the National Land Commission, has acquired 1.4 kilometers of land that previously halted the rehabilitation of the MGR line in Mombasa. This section will link the central railway station with the SGR terminus in Miritini.

Upon completion in May, passengers using the Madaraka Express passenger service train and the seven stations along the SGR traveling to or from Mombasa will be able to utilize the MGR line.

Simultaneously, the construction of four mini-stations is underway in Changamwe East, Changamwe West, Miritini, and Shimanzi to improve commuter movement for Mombasa residents. This will provide an alternative mode of transport, alleviating pressure on road transport.

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