Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Kenya acquires 300 SGR wagons, 20 passenger coaches

Kenya has acquired 300 SGR wagons. The first batch of 50 wagons have already arrived and were officially received by Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen.

The 50 SGR wagons are expected to facilitate the operations of the Madaraka Express freight service. A second shipment of 250 wagons was loaded at the Tianjin port in China in late January and is expected to arrive in Kenya before the end of February.

“The new wagons are part of our strategic response to market dynamics, and the need to meet the ever-changing customer demands and gain a competitive edge,” said CS Murkomen when received the cargo wagons.

“This was the first time new wagons have been added since the launch of SGR in May 2017.”

CS Murkomen added that 20 of the wagons procured will also have power plugins to enable the movement of refrigerated containers.

“The refrigerated SGR wagons will be a big boost to our horticultural sector. We will be able to respond to the preferences of customers from around the world,” he said.

Kenya’s rail transport network continues to register significant gains. Meter Gauge Railway cargo volume, for instance, rose by 21 per cent from 787,000 tonnes in 2022 to 1,000,955 in 2023.

At the same time, the volume of SGR cargo increased by seven per cent from 6,090,000 in 2022 to 6,533028 in 2023, while the number of SGR passengers increased by 12 per cent from 2,392,000 in 2022 to 2,727,727 in 2023.

CS Murkomen further added that his ministry is expecting to add SGR passenger coaches in the coming months.

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“We are also expecting 20 more SGR passenger coaches. Of these, six coaches will accommodate people with disabilities. The new coaches will support the increasing demand for SGR passenger services that came about with the addition of a night train service and a stop in Voi,” he said.

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