NAIROBI, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Tuesday launched the Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) cargo service and an inland container depot (ICD) that are expected to revolutionize transport of bulk cargo to the east Africa nation's hinterland and neighboring countries.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong, were among dignitaries who graced the launch of the SGR phase 2A freight service and dry port located in the resort town of Naivasha.
"Today, we mark the commencement of the freight train services to the Naivasha Inland Container Depot; thus making an unequivocal statement that we as a people are ready to ascend," said Kenyatta during the launch in Nairobi.
The freight service launch came after the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR passenger service was inaugurated on October 16.
Kenyatta said the commencement of freight transport along the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR corridor that is part of the proposed Mombasa-Nairobi-Kisumu/Malaba SGR project, will stimulate investments and economic growth in the Kenyan hinterland.
"We equally remain hopeful that other economic and commercial ventures will be established along the line, which together will trigger the creation of productive employment, and in the process reduce poverty and inequality across the whole country," said Kenyatta.
He said that operationalization of the SGR phase 2A freight service and Naivasha's dry port will boost Kenya's status as a transport and logistics hub while enhancing regional integration.
Kenyatta said that two trains will on a daily basis serve the Naivasha ICD while two shipping lines had already committed to delivering their bulk cargo directly from the port of Mombasa to Naivasha.