SGR to have a daily return train trip between Mombasa, Nairobi
One passenger train will transport travellers on the standard gauge railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi from May 31.
According to Kenya Railways (KR) managing director Atanas Maina, the train will operate one daily return trip between Mombasa and Nairobi.
However, said Mr Maina, the frequency will be reviewed depending on passenger demand.
The train will carry 1,200 passengers from the coastal resort city to Nairobi and make a return trip with the same passenger capacity.
Mr Maina told the Nation by phone on Monday the corporation will announce the fares before the flagging off of the maiden trip on Wednesday by the President.
The corporation will also announce the operation schedule ahead of the inauguration, the MD added.
“We expect President Uhuru Kenyatta to officially launch the passenger train services next week so that Kenyans can begin to enjoy modern rail transport,” said Mr Maina.
The Head of State will flag off the passenger train service on May 30. However, Mr Maina said, the cargo train service is scheduled to begin next year.
“For freight, we plan to introduce the train services in January since we are still doing trial operations,” said Mr Maina.
The KR boss said when the cargo train service takes off, it will address traffic congestion on the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
In the meantime, travellers will have a choice of travelling economy or first class with a premier business class being introduced in December.
“We expect efficiency, safety and cost-effective services when the passenger train operations are introduced next week,” said Mr Maina.
Travellers, he said, will take a shorter time between Mombasa and Nairobi on rail compared to road transport.
Mr Maina said that apart from the main railway stations in Mombasa and Nairobi, there will be seven stop-overs.
The train will briefly stop at Mtito Andei, Emali, Kibwezi, Athi River, Miaseni, Mariakani and Voi.
Mr Maina said the state-of-the-art SGR infrastructure and facilities had attracted businesses and industries along the line.
“Apart from the project revolutionising transport in the country, there is a lot of business interest in service provision, accommodation and catering as well as manufacturing along the railway line,” said Mr Maina.