The first standard gauge railway cargo train arrived in Nairobi on Monday at the ultra-modern inland container depot which was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta a fortnight ago.
The arrival of the cargo train is in line with President Kenyatta’s promise to reduce the cost of doing business in the country.
In his New Year message, President Kenyatta said the new commercial cargo train would cut costs and delays in trade for Kenyans and its neighbours.
The President said the delivery of a world-class railway on time and within budget, would attract world-class manufacturing and value-addition investments, which are critical to creating jobs and business opportunities.
The cargo train carried 104 containers, which is almost equivalent to the trucks operating daily on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
According to the Kenya’s Ports Authority head of Inland Container Deports Symon Wahome, the new commercial cargo train will revolutionize the transportation of cargo in Kenya.
“While the meter train used to carry twenty to thirty containers, the standard gauge train will carry 216 containers,” said Mr Wahome.
He said four trains will operate daily and later increased to eight cargo trains.
Meanwhile Kenya Railways Corporation announced that passengers travelling on the Madaraka Express will have to book their tickets 30 days in advance following an adjustment on the previous 14 days advance ticket booking window.
The corporation CEO Atanas Maina said the change is geared towards streamlining the service, meeting the growing travel demands and improving the customer experience.
“Kenya Railways is committed to continuous identifying and instituting measures that will meet the demands of the ever increasing customer base on the service,” he said.