Madaraka Express nets Sh530m in 2017


The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)

Kenya Railways generated Sh700 million from passenger travel in 2017, following the introduction of the Madaraka Express service.

This was a 60 percent jump in income for the railway operator from the Sh134 million generated in 2016.

The Madaraka Express service was launched in June 2017, proved to be hit with passengers between Nairobi and Mombasa because of the shortened travel time.

According to the 2018 economic survey, 689,205 passengers travelled on the Madaraka Express generating Sh530 million.

“The overall increase in passenger journeys and revenue from passenger service is mainly due to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger service that commenced in the second half of 2017,” the 2018 Economic Survey reads in part.

There was however a dip in earnings from cargo revenue which dropped 37.5 percent to Sh4.8 billion.

This follows disruption of operations by Rift Valley Railways (RVR) after the government terminated the 25 year concession deal.

“Freight traffic decreased by 16.9 percent from 1,380 thousand tons in 2016 to 1,147 thousand tons in 2017 due to operational challenges faced by RVR,” the report indicates.

The government rolled out the Madaraka Cargo service in December 2017, seeking to move 40 percent of the cargo from the port of Mombasa to the Nairobi inland container terminal by rail.

However the service faced teething issues with cargo owners slow to embrace it over what they termed as inefficiencies.

Kenya Railways and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) have introduced a number of incentives to woo cargo owners.

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