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Kenya Railways adds SGR coaches, daily services to Kisumu, Nanyuki to meet Christmas demand

Kenya Railways Corporation has increased passenger capacity on the standard gauge railway (SGR) train between Nairobi and Mombasa to cater for the rising demand during the Christmas festive season.

At the same time, they have also introduced more trips on its long-distance passenger service to Kisumu and Nanyuki owing to a spike in passenger numbers as more people seek to travel for the festive season.

The Corporation on Friday said that it had introduced daily trips to the two destinations as opposed to the usual one trip a week.

The changes also entail an additional train moving from both Kisumu and Nanyuki towards Nairobi. The Corporation has maintained the departure times as per the normal schedules, with the train to and from Kisumu departing both ends at 1830hrs and the train to and from Nanyuki departing at 0900hrs.

The Managing Director Philip Mainga reiterated emphasized the commitment to enhancing efficiency for travellers during this year’s festive season.

“As a Corporation we are committed to enhancing travel convenience and efficiency for passengers during this festive season. The extension of services is a strategic move to meet the expected upsurge in demand and help reduce the challenges of congestion and crowding experienced in the previous years during the festivities,” he said.

The Corporation said that the Madaraka Express passenger service train had also added extra coaches to meet the demand of passengers travelling from Nairobi and Mombasa during the festivities.

The train service can now cater to a daily passenger capacity ranging from 10,000 to 13,000 individuals.

It said that it is well positioned to accommodate the increased numbers given the huge capacity of the trains.

The Nanyuki and Kisumu safari trains have been traversing on a daily basis since December 9, 2023, and will continue up to January 14, 2024.

Currently, the Nanyuki Safari train fare costs Sh200 for economy class and Sh1000 for first class, while the Kisumu train costs Sh600 for economy class and Sh2000 for first class. However, as of January 1 2024, train fare will cost Sh400 for economy class and Sh1500 for first class for the Nanyuki Safari train, while for the Kisumu Safari train, the fare will cost Sh900 for economy class and Sh2400 for first class.

The Madaraka Express train operates three times a day each departing at 0800hrs, 1500hrs and 2200hrs.

Last month, KR announced a 50 per cent fare hike for Nairobi to Mombasa SGR passengers starting January 1, 2024.

The fare review also affects passengers using the Nairobi commuter rail service and the Kisumu and Nanyuki safari trains.

According to a statement released by KR, passengers travelling from Nairobi to Mombasa will pay Sh1,500 (economy class) and Sh4,500 (first class) up from the current Sh1,000 (economy class) and Sh3,000 (first class).

“The increase is informed by changes in the energy and petroleum sector where prices of fuel have significantly increased thus affecting the cost of our operations,” the statement explained.

It added that passengers making advance purchases for the Madaraka Express passenger service will notice the adjusted fares.

Those plying the Nairobi-Suswa route will pay as follows: Nairobi to Suswa/Mai Mahiu (Sh250), Nairobi to Rongai/Ngong (Sh130).

Those leaving Rongai heading to Ngong will pay Sh70, and the rest pay Sh130 for commuting between Rongai to Mai Mahiu and Suswa, Ngong to Mai Mahiu and Suswa and Mai Mahiu to Suswa.

Children between three and 11 years old travelling with adults will pay half the price as those above 11 years pay the full price.