Kenya Railways adds 5 coaches to meet weekend demand

Kenya Railways adds 5 coaches to meet weekend demand
First batch of SGR trains arrive at port of Mombasa/ Photo Courtesy

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.

This will increase economy coaches from the current 11 to 16 between Friday and Sunday which the railway operator has had the highest number of booking requests.

This will see passenger capacity go up by 590 as each coach carries 118 passengers in economy class.

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 told Citizen Digital.

Kenya Railways currently operates four daily trains.

Since its launch in June 2017, the Madaraka Express service has made 1,144 trips, as of May.

This equals transporting close to 1.3 million customers between Nairobi and Mombasa at a cost of Sh700 and Sh3,000 for economy and first class.

Kenya Railways estimates to have generated Sh1 billion in revenues, underlying the success of the train service and need to meet growing demand.

Mr Maina said the inter county and direct trains have been operating on near full capacity over the period.

“Since we started the trains have been full throughout the lowest recording being in the region of 85 % otherwise we’ve been at 100 percent occupancy,” he said.

Speed and cost have been major clinchers for the Madaraka Express trains, cutting the travel time on the 520 kilometer journey to just four hours nonstop, while also giving travelers along the line an option of making stops in key towns.

Kenya Railways will be looking towards improving the passenger experience on the trains going forward.

Report by Sherlyne Anyango 

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