The number of coaches on the standard gauge railway (SGR) Madaraka Express train between Nairobi and Mombasa is set to be increased on weekends in a move aimed at increasing income from the service.
Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina said on Sunday the coaches will be increased to 16 from 11 for economy class passengers on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The two coaches for first class passengers, however, will remain the same in the new service regime set to take effect starting this week.
The train is currently pulling 11 coaches (118 passengers) on economy class tickets and two (72 passengers) on the first class tickets.
“We were studying travel trends and have noted demand is higher from Fridays,” said Mr Maina in an interview with the Business Daily.
The SGR passenger train service between Nairobi and Mombasa was launched last June. The trains have been departing daily from both directions, offering a four-and-a-half-hour non-stop connection between the country’s two major cities. It charges Sh3,000 on first class coaches and Sh1,000 on economy class coaches.
The inter-county service train that was launched last December charges Sh50 from Mombasa to Mariakani, Sh230 from Voi to Kibwezi, Sh130 from Athi River to Emali, Sh510 from Nairobi to Voi and Sh400 from Emali to Maisenyi on economy class coaches.
On first class, passengers have been paying Sh140 from Mombasa to Mariakani, Sh920 from Voi to Kibwezi, Sh660 from Athi River to Emali, Sh2,130 from Nairobi to Voi and Sh1,670 from Emali to Maisenyi.
The train has a capacity of 1,260 passengers with 15 economy class coaches and three first class coaches.
It also comes with a luggage carrier with a total capacity of 70 tonnes and a sleeper coach.