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Kenya Railways add SGR coaches ahead of festive season

Kenya Railways has announced it will add more coaches to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train that shuttles between Nairobi and Mombasa to cater to the rise in passenger numbers during the festive season.

The extra coaches will cater to both economy and first-class passengers will be added from December 9, 2021, to January 6, 2022.

The train service, dubbed Madaraka Express, is currently fully booked for the Christmas season as Kenyans seek convenience, fast and affordable travel.

The company said that coaches will be increased to 11 from eight for economy class passengers.

First-class passengers will also get an additional unit from the two coaches in operations.

The train is currently pulling eight coaches (944 passengers) on economy class tickets and two coaches (144 passengers) on the first-class tickets.

Kenya Railways has normally increased the train coaches during the holiday season as demand surges and has steadily increased coaches on the Nairobi-Mombasa route since the SGR passenger train was launched in June 2017.

The bookings register shows that the trains are fully booked between December 23 and 24 hence the increase.

“The trains are fully booked up to December 24. We have seen a change in trend where passengers are booking for their tickets earlier” said the corporation in a statement in November.

Increased bookings have also been witnessed barely a few days to Christmas, an indicator that more people will opt to travel to the coast, way before Christmas.

Fares on the economy class section are Sh1,000 with first-class tickets going for Sh3,000.

Children below three years are not charged any fee to take a ride on the train while those from 3-11 years pay half the price adults pay on the economy and first-class tickets.

The SGR passenger train service between Nairobi and Mombasa was launched in June 2017.

The trains have been departing daily from both directions, offering a five-hour non-stop connection between the country’s two major cities.

The inter-county service train that was launched in 2018 charges Sh70 from Mombasa to Mariakani, Sh310 from Voi to Kibwezi, Sh220 from Athi River to Emali on economy class coaches.

On first-class, passengers have been paying Sh140 from Mombasa to Mariakani, Sh920 from Voi to Kibwezi, Sh660 from Athi River to Emali, Sh2, 130 from Nairobi to Voi and Sh1, 670 from Emali to Maisenyi.