Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has announced that it will add 480 new wagons to its fleets in an effort to augment its haulage capacity.
Speaking during the 6th East and Central Africa Rail and Road Infrastructure Summit that was held at Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday, RVR’sGeneral Manager, Concession & External Communications, Sammy Gachuhi confirmed that they had already procured 120 wagons which they expect to arrive in the country in November.
“The 120 wagons purchased from China CNR Corporation at USD53, 000 per unit will increase fleet size and enable RVR to move up to 60 tonnes on each wagon compared to 40 tons allowed in the current wagon fleet,” he said.
He pointed out that RVR is currently at the midpoint of a sh25 billion (US$ 287 million) capital expenditure program that began in January 2012 to revitalize the railway.
“Since the start of the renewal program, RVR has invested sh11 billion (US$ 126 million) in modern rail operating technology, rebuilding infrastructure, expanding haulage capacity and developing modern rail operating skills in its 2,400 strong workforce.”
RVR has also completed the rehabilitation of the most damaged sections of the railway track between Mombasa and Nairobi and rehabilitated and reopened the 500 km railway from Tororo to Gulu in northern Uganda after a 20-year hiatus. Installation of satellite tracking and GPS-based technology on all trains helped cut cargo transit times between Mombasa and Nairobi by six hours.
The purchase of 20 new locomotives and the rehabilitation of existing wagons in 2014 have significantly expanded RVR’s mainline fleet of operating locomotives.
The railway has surpassed its set freight volume targets (FVT), moving 1,883 mnNTK of freight as at January 31, 2015 against a target of 1,737 mnNTK by March 31, 2015 in Kenya.
In Uganda, the operator had moved 250mnNTK of freight as at February 25, 2015 against a target of 250 mnNTK by March 31, 2015.