September 25, 2017: Kenya has recently approved freight charges for the standard gauge railway. Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) will start freight operations on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from December 2017. And the government is aiming to transport 40 percent of cargo from Mombasa port by rail.

According to news paper reports, the corporation has received approval of the tariffs from the Ministry of Transport. The approived tariff is of half the road haulage rates. KRC will charge $500 to transport a 20ft container between Mombasa and Nairobi, half of the $1,000 that truck owners charge.

As of now the SGR is carrying an average of 88 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and taking around 8 hours between Mombasa and Nairobi which is predominatly government supplies. The Corporation has received 18 more freight locomotives and 60 wagons designed for double-stacking on the SGR freight operations. This will go further in decongesting the Port of Mombasa as well as Mombasa Road.

The SGR cargo line will run freight trains with 54 double-stack flat wagons, carrying 216 TEU per trip, with a load of 4,000 tonnes on each train. KRC is looking at scaling up the trial runs on the said route.

Construction of the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Embakasi is in final stages. Currently, testing of ICD operations is ongoing via the food relief freight transportation and handling. The facility will soon be handed over by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to Kenya Railways for official commencement of cargo operations later this year. Upon full commencement of operations, the ICD will handle 405,000 TEUs per annum.

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