Despite the movement restrictions imposed by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight services continue to operate normally, buoyed by the increased inflow of supplies.
Between March 25 and April 22, Africastar, the operator of the SGR, transported 52 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of Covid-19 prevention materials such as disinfectants, ethyl and alcohol, and 732 TEUs of grain to the region.
In addition, it ferried export goods, including tea, coffee, tobacco, clothing, canned seafood and fruit as well as imports such as auto parts, ceramics and fertiliser.
A statement released by Afristar indicated that the freight services were ongoing round the clock, with a significant number of employees still working.
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“Following the suspension of passenger services, members of the passenger service team such as train attendants took leave. However, some passenger locomotive drivers were transferred to freight services,” the statement read.
According to Afristar, the volume of cargo transported from the port of Mombasa grew in the first quarter of this year, with 96,000 TEUs and 7,365 tonnes of bulk cargo ferried. A total 1,187 trains were used, at an average of 13 trains daily.