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SGR Nairobi-Mombasa trains double as demand increases

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Kenya Railways has doubled the frequency of standard gauge railway (SGR) passenger service between Nairobi and Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The train will do two trips to Mombasa from Nairobi at 8am and 2:15 pm and leave the coastal town at the same time for the city.
  • SGR service was scaled down to a single trip in July when it services resumed after Kenya suspended operations in April to curb the spread of coronavirus.
  • But the easing of the restrictions, including allowing travel in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa has triggered a rise in demand, prompting Kenya Railways to up frequencies.

Kenya Railways has doubled the frequency of standard gauge railway (SGR) passenger service between Nairobi and Mombasa, signalling rising demand for travel after the easing of Covid-19 lockdown.

The train will do two trips to Mombasa from Nairobi at 8am and 2:15 pm and leave the coastal town at the same time for the city.

SGR service was scaled down to a single trip in July when it services resumed after Kenya suspended operations in April to curb the spread of coronavirus.

But the easing of the restrictions, including allowing travel in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa has triggered a rise in demand, prompting Kenya Railways to up frequencies.

“This is a big relief to our customers considering the number of feedbacks and requests received since the resumption of the service,” said Kenya Railways managing director Philip Mainga in a statement yesterday.

The corporation has been operating one passenger train while keeping half of the seats empty in line with social distance rules, hurting its revenues.

The addition of an extra train on the Nairobi-Mombasa route comes at a time President Kenyatta has extended for two months a nationwide curfew intended to curb the coronavirus, but relaxed the starting time by two hours until 11 pm.

These move is set to see a rise in domestic travel by families heading to the coastal town of Mombasa ahead of the Christmas season.