Kenya Railways Launches Double Decker Train Service

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off SGR Phase 2A at the Nairobi Terminus on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off SGR Phase 2A at the Nairobi Terminus on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    PSCU
  • Kenya Railways on Wednesday, January 27, announced the resumption of a double stack cargo train service from the Mombasa via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). 

    In a statement, KR announced that it had started loading and moving double-stack freight trains between the Port of Mombasa and Inland Container Depot (ICD)Nairobi.

    "The move will help improve daily cargo evacuation and efficiency of the Port of Mombasa," reads an excerpt of their statement.

    In addition, the national rail carrier stated that each train has a capacity of moving a minimum of 154 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

    The service was initially introduced in 2018 but was shut down after cargo movers avoided moving their goods via the SGR.

    The SGR is the only service in Kenya that has the capacity to ferry double-stacked and was one of the reasons why the modern rail was built at a cost of over Ksh360 billion. Cargo movers have complained of the high cost of moving cargo via the service which is compounded by delays in sorting cargo at the Nairobi ICD.  

    In recent months, traders and importers were facing delays in the delivery of cargo attributable to damaged wagons at the port of Mombasa.

    The damage to the 550 wagons was caused by six giant cranes installed at the facility at a cost of Sh1.2 billion.

    The damage caused a serious shortage of wagons which forced Kenya Railway Corporation (KRC) to cut by more than half the number of SGR freight trains in the past two months.

    This resulted in delays in delivering cargo as well as congestion at the port.

    As of November 2020, more than 3,000 containers had remained uncollected as Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and KRC worked out on urgent measures to contain the situation.

    A ship docked at the Port of Mombasa.
    A ship docked at the Port of Mombasa.
    File