Nairobi, Kenya | THE INDEPENDENT | The first commercial cargo train on the newly built Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) arrived in Nairobi on New Year’s Day with 104 containers, marking the start of major business on the route.
The single cargo train carried 104 containers, which is almost equivalent to the number of trucks operating daily on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
According to the Kenya’s Ports Authority head of Inland Container Deports Symon Wahome, the new commercial cargo train will revolutionize the transportation of cargo in Kenya.
“While the meter train used to carry twenty to thirty containers, the standard gauge train will carry 216 containers,” said Wahome.
He said currently there would be four trains operating daily to the ultra-modern inland container depot which was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta a fortnight ago, but in the fullness of time eight cargo trains are expected to operate to and from Mombasa.
In his new year’s message, President Kenyatta said the new commercial cargo train would cut costs and delays in trade for Kenyans and its neighbours.
The President said the delivery of a world-class railway on time and within budget, would attract world-class manufacturing and value-addition investments, which are critical to creating jobs and business opportunities.
The 2nd phase of SGR project will be developed in three parts this year; Nairobi- Naivasha; Naivasha-Kisumu through Narok, Bomet, Sondu and Ahero; including a high-capacity port at Kisumu and Kisumu-Malaba through Yala and Mumias.
The regional SGR project will then be extended to Kampala and Kigali in Uganda and Rwanda, and later to South Sudan.