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Boost for RVR as it receives 13 locomotives

23 March 2015, 13:02 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has received four more locomotives adding up to 13 out of the procured 20 to its fleet in an effort to increase its haulage capacity.

The four locomotives, which can transport an average of 1 250 tons of cargo, arrived at the port of Mombasa from US as RVR expects to receive the remaining seven locomotives by the end of May this year.

RVR Group CEO, Carlos Andrade said, “We spent over KES 12 billion in the turnaround program and shall continue to recapitalize the business through internally generated profits in an effort to establish the regional railway as an efficient bulk transporter in the region.”

“The money has been spent in acquiring new technologies to automate the systems, increasing of rolling stock for us to increase volumes, expanding client base and improving infrastructure to cut speed restrictions,” he added.

The 20 locomotives were procured from a US company, General Electric at USD 25 million with the support of a USD 20 million asset financing facility from Standard Bank (CFC) and USD 5 million top up from majority shareholder, Qalaa Holding.

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RVR is also refurbishing some of the existing trains from Kenya and Uganda in addition to procuring more from South Africa.

The additional locomotives are to double cargo operation capacity for the corporation and reduce transportation time from 17 days to 10 days around East Africa while remarkably reducing transportation period between Mombasa and Kampala to 7 days.

The corporation further acquired a train simulator to train new drivers and improve train handling to reduce train delays and accidents caused by human error, particularly for the newly improvised locomotives.

RVR continues to invest in efficiencies in its operations and solutions for more bulk transportation of a mix of cargo to ensure railway is established as a catalyst for growth of the economy.

Multinational companies such as Roofings Rolling Mills, Vivo energy, Hass petroleum, Mogas, Uganda Baati, and Mukwano, have already signed haulage contracts with RVR and are now moving a significant amount of their heavy freight via rail, helping to reduce pressure on East Africa’s already overburdened road infrastructure.

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