'Madaraka Express' begins operations

Madaraka Express
After Wednesday's official launch of the Standard Gauge Railway passenger train, the Madaraka Express left Nairobi Terminus for Mombasa at 9am yesterday.

Another train left Mombasa for Nairobi at the same time. Both trains ferried between 500 and 600 passengers each.

According to information from Kenya Railways, there will be a scheduled train in either direction for the next one month as the operator works on more definite schedules.

The two trains that operated yesterday offered express services between the two cities. However, subsequent schedules will include the county service that will have stops at the seven intermediate stations.

Speaking to The Standard in Mombasa during the launch, Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina said the initial service would help to determine the frequencies as well as the capacity for each train.

"We will use the data from the initial service to determine proper scheduling. We are especially interested in knowing the travel habits of our customers," said Mr Maina.

It will cost Sh700 to travel in economy class to Mombasa while those wishing to use first class facilities will pay Sh3,000.

Fares for the county train service will depend on the distances between particular stations. A passenger travelling from Mombasa to Mariakani will pay Sh50. A traveller to Athi River from Nairobi will pay the same amount.

Tickets are being purchased at the respective railway stations.

"We are trying to facilitate online booking," added Maina. 

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