Online booking for SGR train starts end of this month

Passengers at the Nairobi Central Railway Station. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG
Passengers at the Nairobi Central Railway Station. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG 

Kenya Railways will avail online booking services to passengers of the Madaraka Express train by the end of August after addressing hitches that had delayed its rollout.

The State corporation had earlier indicated that online booking would start in July but had to postpone.

“We are talking of a tentative date of end of this month since all systems are now in place,” corporate affairs manager Mary Oyuke said Thursday.

The firm has also started incorporating details of passengers including name and ID number in a move it hopes will weed out middlemen cashing in on a loophole created by travellers having to book their tickets at the stations.

Inter-county trains

Ms Oyuke also indicated that operation of county trains will soon be underway with staff expected to work at the seven stations between Mombasa and Nairobi having been identified and trained.

The standard gauge railway traverses Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Makueni, Taita Taveta, Kwale and Mombasa, with the county train expected to serve these areas.

Last month, Madaraka Express started stopping at two other stations – Mtito Andei and Voi.

The inter-county trains will make stops at Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito, Voi, Miasenyi and Mariakani stations before the final stop at Miritini.

Yesterday, an official at the Miritini terminus said the 9 a.m. train left Mombasa with over 1,400 passengers, with some of them expected to alight at Voi and Mtito Andei.

“At least 100 passengers will alight at Voi while there were others who boarded the train,” the official said.

Economy class fare charged between Mombasa and Voi is Sh210, while passengers travelling to Mtito Andei from Mombasa pay Sh370. The fare between Mtito Andei and Voi is Sh160.

First class passengers pay Sh880 between Mombasa and Voi while those travelling to Mtito Andei are paying Sh1,520.