, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – The Kenya Railways Corporation is set to launch cargo operations on its Standard Gauge Railway line in January next year.
According to the Managing Director, Atanas Maina trials have been ongoing since Friday to facilitate the configuration of workflow and schedules.
“Since we have set up a process flow, what our teams are doing now is to test how the flow will be so that come January, we have the systems firmed up. We have the contracts in place and we have done trials with the commercial clients so that they can have a feel of the service,” says Maina.
Maina says cargo will be charged at Sh 50,000 per 20 foot container with the same expected to take an average of eight hours to transit from the coastal city of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi.
Kenya Railways says the freight service will boost business by cutting the cost of transportation from and to the Port of Mombasa.
“For a start, four freight trains are available to provide daily service between Mombasa and Nairobi.”
The new line was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 31 after completion at the cost of Sh 320 billion in record five years, the construction having been launched in 2013.
Passengers have since been traveling at Sh 700 between Nairobi and Mombasa on standard class with first class travelers paying Sh 3,000.