Kenya launches maiden train from Mombasa to Malaba [Photos]

In comparison to the road, the train will decrease travel time by 62% and cost by 58%.

Standard Gauge Railway train

Kenya will now be able to ship cargo from Mombasa to Uganda following the completion of the Naivasha - Malaba metre-gauge railway.

Kenya Railways conducted its maiden cargo train from Mombasa to Malaba near the Kenya Uganda border on Monday, January 10, 2022.

In a statement issued on Monday, January 10 Kenya Railways explained that the train carrying the cargo left the Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway line and arrived at the Naivasha Inland Container Depot.

The cargo was then transhipped onto the metre gauge railway line for onward transportation to Malaba.

Today's event paves the way for seamless transportation of cargo from Mombasa to Kenya's hinterland and to neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Congo among others.

The cargo is on transit to Malaba Railway Yard for onward transportation to Kampala. From Mombasa to Malaba Railway Yard, cargo will take 36 hours compared to road transport which takes 96 hours. Similarly, it will cost $860 (Sh97,000) per TEU compared to road which costs $2,032 (Sh230,000) per TEU,” Kenya Railways said in a statement.

The Naivasha ICD stands on over 1,000 acres and can load two million tonnes of cargo every year.

By collecting goods from the ICD, traders from the neighbouring countries will have reduced the distance covered by trailers by over 400kms.

And as activity at the dry port gathers pace, the sleepy town of Naivasha stands to gain the most from the spillover of increased trade.

Kenya abandoned its bid to extend the SGR line to Kisumu and later on to the Ugandan border after failing to secure a multi-billion-shilling loan from China, which had funded the first and second phases of the line.

The government opted to fund the revamp of the metre gauge railway line to Malaba with an initial budget of Sh3.5 billion after dropping a proposal to use a Chinese contractor.

The contractor had quoted in excess of Sh50 billion to upgrade the line and link it to the Mombasa-Naivasha SGR line.

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