The Madaraka Express as it is known has become popular with many Kenyans traveling between Nairobi and Mombasa ferrying over 1,000,000 passengers between June, 2017 when it started operations and June, 2018.
Currently SGR operates four daily trains on average pulling eleven coaches on its economy class and other two on the first class accommodating 72 passengers & 118 passengers respectively.
Passengers on Madaraka Express Economy Class
Passengers on Madaraka Express First Class
Kenya Railways has announced plans to add five new coaches on weekend Madaraka Express trains to meet growing demand by commuters between Nairobi and Mombasa. Kenya Railways will from this June, 2018 increase coaches on its SGR train following high demand on Friday through the weekends.
Madaraka Express Milestone since launching in June, 2017
The inter county and direct trains have been operating on near full capacity over the period. Since it started, the trains have been full throughout the lowest recording being in the region of 85% otherwise we’ve been at 100% occupancy. Generating KES 1 billion (USD 10 million) in revenues, underlying the success of the train service and need to meet growing demand.
Speed and cost have been major clinchers for the Madaraka Express trains, cutting the travel time on the 520 kilometer journey to just 4 to 5 hours nonstop, while also giving travelers along the line an option of making stops in key towns. The buses take eight hours on average.
According to Kenya Railways managing director, Atanas Maina said the changes will affect only the economy class and will be adjusted from the current 11 to 16 locomotives. Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina said the plan in future will also be to introduce new trains to increase the number of services on the line.
“The plans we are putting place is to first look at what we require in terms for additional capacity for coaches. The next level will be to bring in more locomotives and coaches so that we can provide additional train services,” Mr. Maina said.
As African Mobilities Observatory – AMO, we strongly believe that SGR is one other priority option African states should consider in the process of impacting on the uncontrollable traffic and congestion in the different cities and major towns on the continent.
What is your take on this?
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN.