Kenya Railways adds SGR coaches on school holidays demand
The high demand for Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) services has forced Kenya Railways to add more coaches during the school holidays.
Afristar, the operator of SGR, on April 18, 2023, announced it will add both economy and first-class passenger coaches to cater to increasing demand.
The coaches will be added on the trains that shuttle between Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa from April 19 to May 9, 2023, Afristar said in a notice.
“We are happy to announce that we will be adding more coaches from April 19-May 9 to accommodate the increased number of passengers using the Nairobi-Mombasa SGR trains during the closing and opening of schools,” said the firm.
Demand for the passenger train service has been on the rise since it was launched in 2017.
During the recent Easter holiday, for instance, the trains were fully booked as Kenyans sought convenience, fast and affordable travel.
The train is currently pulling eight coaches (944 passengers) on economy-class tickets and two coaches (144 passengers) on first-class tickets.
Kenya Railways increases the number of coaches during the holiday seasons to meet demand surges.
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 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.
Passenger traffic surged 20.1 percent in 2022, with the trains ferrying 2.39 million people during the period, up from 1.99 million in 2021, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.