Kenya launches its first Standard Gauge railway cargo train

In a bid to improve cost of trade with its neighbouring countries, Kenya has launched its first standard gauge railway cargo train in capital Nairobi, at the ultra-modern inland container depot.

In Kenya’s capital Nairobi, the much awaited standard gauge railway cargo train arrived.

According to the Kenya Ports Authority, the new commercial cargo train will revolutionize the transportation of cargo in the country.

“One of the advantages of moving load by rail is that we enjoy a lot of economies of scale. You can imagine the one of four containers that has been conveyed here. You are talking about almost an equal number of trucks on the roads. If they are twenty feet’s you are talking about, one or four trucks doing the down direction or the up direction from Mombasa. So, there are economies of scale that we enjoy, when you move cargo using the rail.” Symon Wahome, an inland container deport worker said.

Besides the cost of moving a container from the Port of Mombasa to Nairobi being cheaper, it will also be done within 24 hours. The Inland Container Deport has also put efforts to streamline loading and unloading operations.

“This is actually a big relief to our importers and exporters, and I want to say that the inland container depot will be able to achieve their original objective. Of ensuring that we have easy logistics, from mombasa to upcountry, and ensuring that our customers are served as efficiently as possible.” Wahome said.

Wahome also explained how the new train benefits off of a partnership with the ICT sector.

“We have also invested a lot in terms of our ICT systems, that have also been tested, they have also been integrated, the KPA system and the Simba system, now we are also having the ICMS, we have graduated Kenya Revenue Authority, started the ICMS, these systems have been integrated they are intelligent, organized and will be able to transact as easily as possible.” He further noted.

The launch of the new cargo train will see traders paying approximately $483 for transportation of a container, a bargain from earlier charges of about $820.