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China's African Madaraka Express railway blunts Covid-19 impact

THE Chinese-built and operated Madaraka Express that runs 300 miles on the new standard gauge railway between Mombasa and Nairobi, has been credited with slowing the spread of the Covid-19 crisis in East Africa

15 July 2020 - 19:00

THE Chinese-built and operated Madaraka Express that runs 300 miles on the new standard gauge railway between Mombasa and Nairobi, has been credited with slowing the spread of the Covid-19 crisis in East Africa.

There has a 13.3 per cent year-on-year increase in rail freight in June, totalling 422 freight trains between Mombasa and Nairobi, that's 14 freight trains a day, moving 34,688 TEU.



This has played a role in mitigating the spread of Covid-19 through road transport in East Africa, underscoring the advantages of rail transport over trucking, reports the Nairobi Star.



Truckers must undergo mandatory Covid-19 checkups before proceeding on their journeys, which has been a major co currently being experienced.



Compared to road transport, Madaraka Express is more environmentally friendly as fuel consumption is lower. It is possible to transport huge shipments at once over long distances, at relatively low cost.



In the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Regional Transport Transit Facilitation Cell (RTTFC) has drafted its short-term action plan, ensuring that food and basic items reach those most in need.



The Africa Star Railway Operation Company, the operator of the standard gauge railway, has continued to operate the freight services normally, buoyed by the increased inflow of Covid-19 supplies.


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