Freight transport to start between Naivasha and Malaba


Four East African Community Member States joined Kenya and Uganda in developing modern railways as lack of funding remained the main challenge in the construction of SGR from Naivasha onwards.

Photo credit: File

Freight train services from Naivasha to Malaba via the line linking the Standard Gauge Railway and the Metre Gauge Railway will start in the next two months.

Witnessing a successful transfer of cargo between the two lines at the inland container depot yesterday, Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga called the transshipment “seamless”.

The cargo destined for Malaba in Western Kenya arrived from the Mombasa port via SGR and was transferred onto the MGR line.

“The Naivasha ICD facility will handle mostly transit cargo to the Great Lakes region including Uganda, South Sudan, DR Congo, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi, which account for 30 per cent of imports and exports through the port of Mombasa,” he said.  

The Naivasha facility, he said, has the capacity to handle 120,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, further enhancing efficiencies and easing transshipment.

He said that during the trial, 22 containers will be ferried to Kampala through Malaba.

“On the part of Uganda, they are also working on their line all the way to Kampala,” he noted.

Up to 30 tonnes

He said the rail line to Malaba is “a safe, reliable and cost effective way”.

Some of the incentives offered to transporters, he said, are 30-day free storage with quick cargo processing and transshipment onto wagons.

“We will have regular, speedy and reliable delivery of cargo through well-organised train schedules with strict timetables for the evacuation of cargo and empty container repatriation from the inland container terminals,” he said.

A 20-foot container will cost about Sh86,000 to transport, he said, “compared to the road charges, which was about Sh200,000”.

Transporting a 20-foot container of up to 30 tonnes from Naivasha to Malaba will cost Sh39,550 and Sh50,850 for 30-tonnes.

A 40-foot container weighing up to 30 tonnes in the same direction will cost Sh51,980 while that above 30 tonnes will be charged Sh68,930 on the MGR network.