As the days progress, we’re getting more information on the operations of the SGR train. Interest is still quite high and hopefully Kenyans will continue using this service long after the pomp and hype.
The biggest challenge and deterrent for many is the distance between the two main stations from respective CBDs. Before you even get on the train, you need to make travel plans to reach Syokimau and Miritini stations.
Public transporters are establishing themselves quickly, but its still a challenge, considering the departure hours.
A single train is departing from Nairobi and Mombasa at exactly 9am. This will be the case until the end of the year when full operations are rolled out.
Therefore, you need to be at the respective stations well in advance to book your ticket and for the obligatory sight seeing and selfies.
Recognizing this deterrent, SGR operator has teamed up with Rift Valley Railways to ferry passengers easily and on time to the Syokimau terminus.
Everyday at 7 am, a train is departing Nairobi Central Station (Railways), and it will take you right to the Syokimau Terminus. The same train will pick up passengers arriving from Mombasa at 1:30 pm, and drop them at the Nairobi Central Station.
Well, now no complaining about the traffic.
There’s also a promotional bus transfer service that is reportedly ending this week. Kenya Railways has partnered with National Youth Service (NYS) and Posta to pick up passengers from the Railway station in town at 7am to take them to the Syokimau station free of charge. The same buses will also pick up passengers at Syokimau and drop them off at Kencom.
In Mombasa, there is a similar service where passengers are being picked up at the old Mombasa railway station on Mijikenda Street and transported to the Mombasa Terminus in Miritini.
Though it was previously announced that only 1 train will serve each direction every day, we’re informed that the frequency is set to be increased to 2 trains a day, with the addition of a County train service that will make stops at all seven intermediate stations – Mariakani, Miaseny, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali and Athi River. The current train makes a single stop at Mtito Andei.
On the tickets, passengers can buy on the day of travel, or up to 4 days in advance. An online booking platform is yet to be introduced though management has revealed that it is in the works.
Tickets can be purchased with cash or debit/credit cards.
Here are some more FAQs about this service.
Schedule: Departs at 9am from both Nairobi and Mombasa.
Travel time: 4.5 hours
Ticket Price: Sh700 – economy, Sh3000 – First class
Under 3 years – Free
3 – 11 years – Half price
11 and above – Full price
Ticket Purchase: At the termini, up to 4 days in advance.
Online Ticket: NO
Days of Operation: Everyday including Sundays
Nairobi Town pick up point: Railway station
Mombasa town pick up point: Old Mombasa Railway Station
Luggage: 30kg maximum. 1.6 metres length, height, breadth maximum.