Sunday, May 19, 2024
Home > Counties > State acquires 430 wagons to streamline freight services

State acquires 430 wagons to streamline freight services

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

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

Speaking in Mombasa during the commissioning exercise, State Department for Transport PS Mohamed Daghar said the wagons will enhance capacity of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) by gradually replacing the current wagons that are over 40 years old.

The wagons are of different specifications and have additional safety features. They can carry double-stuck containers and have a load capacity of 70 and 64 tonnes on SGR and MGR respectively.

The last consignment of 20 wagons is set to arrive in May, bringing the total number of wagons acquired this year to 500, where 300 wagons will be for SGR and 200 are for MGR.

In January this year, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen flagged off 50 wagons.

“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 containerised and conventional cargo is discharged efficiently and quickly,” said Daghar, while speaking at the Portreitz Freight Station.

The PS noted that the best way to discharge bulk cargo like steel pellets and coils is by using the train system whether it is the SGR or MGR.

He said the government is determined to continue serving the neighbouring land-locked countries through efficient rail transport for both containerised and conventional cargo.

Transport PS Mohamed Daghar flags off 430 new wagons for freight services at Port Reitz Freight station, Mombasa.

Daghar also said the government is keen to ensure that the northern corridor that starts at the Port of Mombasa to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo remains competitive and efficient.

“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 also rehabilitated the entire MGR line in the country, but a small section is left between Voi and Taveta that connects with the Northern part of Tanzania.

The PS revealed that the State Department of Transport through the National Land Commission has already acquired 1.4 kilometres of land that had halted rehabilitation of the MGR line in Mombasa that will link the central railway station and the SGR terminus in Miritini.

When the project is completed in May, passengers using the Madaraka Express passenger service train and the seven stations along the SGR arriving or departing from Mombasa can use the MGR line.

Meanwhile, four mini-stations are under construction in Changamwe East, Changamwe West, Miritini, and Shimanzi to enhance commuter movement for Mombasa residents, who will have an alternative mode of transport, thus easing pressure on road transport.

By Sadik Hassan

Leave a Reply