Sierra Leone’s transportation sector is set to undergo a significant transformation as Arise IIP announces the imminent arrival of seven passenger railcars imported from Japan. In a correspondence dated September 22, 2023, from Samuel Komba Kambo, General Manager of Interface at Arise IIP, to Amb. Alhaji Fanday Turay, Minister of Transport and Aviation, it was revealed that the railcars are expected to dock at Freetown Port on October 26, 2023.
The correspondence, titled “Arrival of Passenger Trains” and bearing the reference number ARISESL/0923/02, highlights the progress made under the Railway and Port Lease Agreement signed between the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and Arise IIP earlier this year. This agreement grants Arise IIP the responsibility of operating and maintaining the rail and port infrastructure, including the provision of a passenger rail service.
According to General Manager Samuel Komba Kambo, Arise IIP has successfully procured and shipped seven passenger railcars and their associated critical spares from Japan. The company is now diligently preparing for the reception of these railcars, making arrangements for their safe unloading, transportation, and parking along the rail infrastructure.
However, one challenge mentioned in the letter is the current control of the rail infrastructure by Kingho. As a result, Arise IIP has sought permission from the government to park the railcars along the rail corridor until the passenger rail services commence. Detailed information, such as a packing list of the railcars with their respective weights and dimensions, as well as a list of critical spares, was also included in the letter.
To facilitate the successful implementation of the passenger rail service, Arise IIP intends to submit duty-free entry forms for the shipment in the coming week, in line with the provisions of the agreement. This duty-free waiver is crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of the rail service.
The letter has been copied to several high-ranking officials and ministries, including the Chief Minister, the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Secretary to the President, and the Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority (NRA).
Sierra Leone eagerly anticipates the arrival of these passenger railcars, as it marks a significant milestone in enhancing the country’s transportation infrastructure and driving economic growth. The successful implementation of the passenger rail service is expected to benefit both local commuters and the broader national economy. Further updates on this exciting development will be provided in due course.