Home Business Government acquires 430 wagons to streamline freight services

Government acquires 430 wagons to streamline freight services

The Principal Secretary of the State Department for Transport, Mohamed Daghar has commissioned 430 rolling stock (wagons) meant to improve efficiency in freight service.

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

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According to Daghar, the wagons will enhance the capacity of SGR and MGR by gradually replacing the current wagons that are over 40 years old.

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

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

The last consignment of 20 wagons is set to arrive in May to bring the total number of wagons acquired this year to 500 with 300 wagons setaside  for SGR while 200 are for MGR.

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

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

He 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 don’t 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 PS Daghar.

Container consignments being loaded on the new wagons for freight services at Port Reitz Freight station, Mombasa.

The government has also rehabilitated the entire MGR line in the country with only a small section between Voi and Taveta that connects with the Northern part of Tanzania remaining.

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.

Once 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.

With each of the 430 wagons boasting a capacity of about 70 tons, the seamless flow of heavy containerized cargo will reduce strain on roads and enhance efficiency.

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.



Haniel Mengistu
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