Kenya Railways is set to officially commence cargo operations on the Standard Gauge Railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi on Friday.
Managing Director Atanas Maina says they are now done with the trial phase which involved ferrying small commodities such as maize, rice and milk adding that the trains are ready to haul container cargo.
Kenya Railways had ordered 1,620 freight wagons and locomotives from China and have so far received 980 setting them ready to begin commercial services without further delay.
According to the Managing Director Atanas Maina, 1,300 Kenyans and 550 Chinese expatriates have completed training on freight services.
He says the trail phase which involved operating five trains daily laden with 108 twenty-foot containers between the Port of Mombasa and the Inland Container Terminal in Nairobi is now complete and is now set to commence cargo operations.
Kenya Railways plans to eventually raise the daily trains plying Mombasa and Nairobi to ten cargo trains per day seeing 450,000 containers ferried.
To ensure the train freight services do not interfere with the Madaraka Express passenger services, the Kenya Railways, Kenya Ports Authority, the Kenya Revenue Authority and the China Road and Bridge Corporation have completed developing the standard operating procedure for the freight services. T
he new service promises more security, safety and reliability of cargo being transported.