Shipping & Logistics

SGR to add coaches on Mombasa-Nairobi route

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Passengers at the standard gauge railway’s Nairobi terminus automatic ticketing area. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

Kenya Railways Corporation is planning to add more coaches to the Madaraka Express ferrying passengers between Mombasa and Nairobi as demand for its services continues to grow.

Currently, three trains operate between the two cities daily setting off at 8am, 3pm and 10pm.

“By the end of this year depending on how the numbers are growing we are going to add trains to have more passengers on board,” said the corporation’s managing director Philip Mainga.

The train service further plans to install Wi-fi in the Madaraka Express.

Celebrating its sixth year in service, Mr Mainga said in 2023, traders will hold their conferences inside the Madaraka Express.

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Speaking during an interview on a local TV station, Mr Mainga said they plan to tap into the lucrative Meetings, Incentives, Exhibitions, and Conferences (MICE) tourism which has boosted Kenya’s hospitality sector.

During the low season, he said MICE events have given the tourism sector a lifeline following the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Mainga said “high-end tourists, Very Important Persons and wealthy individuals” want comfort while travelling in trains.

“You will have conferences on our trains, where you can sit, dine, drink, work and hold events. This will be specifically for Nairobi-Mombasa,” he said.

“We will bring modern coaches where you can work, sleep and travel at the same time. We are looking to tap into that sector by next year.”

Investments have been pumped into mass transport using commuter trains in a bid to ease congestion on the roads.

Kenya Railways says it will continue luring passengers to support the mass transport sector using commuter trains.

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“Mass movement is very convenient, that’s why even our commuter service in Nairobi is the best thing we undertook as a country,” he noted.

“Investment in mass transport using commuter trains and long-distance trains from Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Thika, Nanyuki and Kisumu decongest our roads. Trains movement capture around 5,000 people moving within three hours, which makes a huge difference in our roads.”

He said Kenya is leading the region in improving the railway system in terms of modernisation in both the standard gauge railway and metre gauge railway.

“We ask our customers to look for our services due to our efficiencies, timeliness, and cleanliness of our stations and coaches. We have not increased our tariffs in four years,” said Mr Mainga.

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