Kenya Railways (KR) will from November 1 start a morning inter-county passenger service on the Madaraka Express train between Mombasa and Nairobi, with the express service moved to 3:30pm.
In a statement on Thursday, Transport Secretary James Macharia said the inter-county trains will stop at Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Voi, Miasenyi and Emali stations between Mombasa and Nairobi.
“Yes it is true we have plans to start these operations to cater for more passengers who want a more flexible timeline when travelling between the two cities.
"Commuter buses can now alter their route to accommodate the new changes that will see more people working in the two cities travel by train before alighting midway to connect at the local bus termini to their homes,” he said.
KR chief executive Atanas Maina said the service had helped move 330,000 Kenyans between Nairobi and Mombasa.
While buses take seven hours to cover the 472-kilometre journey, charging between Sh800 to Sh2,500 on the executive coaches, Madaraka trains on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) take four hours (express) and five hours for inter-county service.
Passengers on the economy class pay Sh700 each and Sh3,000 for the business class.
The passenger train ferries 1,200 passengers one way at a go, which is equivalent to taking away 20 buses off the road.
An earlier fare schedule by KR said economy class travellers will pay Sh50 between Mariakani and Mombasa, Voi-Kibwezi (Sh230), Athi River-Emali (Sh160), Nairobi-Voi (Sh500) and Sh400 for Emali to Miasenyi.
Travellers on the business class will pay Sh140 for the Mombasa-Mariakani trip, Sh920 from Voi to Kibwezi, Sh660 from Athi River to Emali, Sh2,130 from Nairobi to Voi and Sh1,670 from Emali to Miasenyi.