RAILWAY SERVICES

Reprieve for Nairobi-Kisumu travelers as Sh600 train is ushered

Buses and matatus are currently charging between Sh1600-2500.

In Summary

•At a cost of only Sh 600 for economy, travelers will be able to enjoy the 11 hours from Nairobi to Kisumu or vice versa.

•Journey from Nairobi to Kisumu costs around Sh2000 during festive seasons when on a bus.

Police officers manning the entrance to an SGR train at the Mombasa terminus, May 2017.
HANDOVER: Police officers manning the entrance to an SGR train at the Mombasa terminus, May 2017.
Image: MONICAH MWANGI

Relief for residents of Western Kenya as they are set to start enjoying Railway services this Friday after more than two decades.

At a cost of only Sh 600 for economy, travellers will be able to enjoy the 11 hours from Nairobi to Kisumu or vice versa.

Journey from Nairobi to Kisumu costs around Sh2000 during festive seasons when on a bus.

In the train, those who prefer first class will have to pay Sh2,000 for the ticket and enjoy luxurious services like spacious closets for their luggage, refreshments, charging pots and Wi-Fi.

For passengers alighting in Nakuru from the capital will pay Sh300 which means one will save Sh100 as compared to the Molo Buses which charge Sh400.

This will come as a breather for passengers who have been facing the high cost of travelling which currently has increased to the festive seasons.

Targeting  travellers this festive season, the train will run on December 17 and 24 and January 1, 2022

In a statement, the Kenya Railway Corporation announced the train would depart Nairobi tomorrow at 6:00 am.

It will arrive in Nakuru in five hours at 11:35 am and after which it would proceed to the Lakeside city and arrive at 5:45pm

The 217 kilometre route from Nairobi leads to the Kisumu Railway Station from the Nakuru Railway Station and has 18 stations such as Njoro and Molo stations , 46 bridges and 27 viaducts.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to flag it off  tomorrow.

Trips from Nairobi to Kisumu will start on Friday while travel from Kisumu to Nairobi commence on Sunday.

However, it is expected that Kenya Railways will release a detailed train schedule early next year.

With the new train resuming, passengers travelling from the lake side down to the coast will have an opportunity to connect in Nairobi.

The company has spent billions of shillings on refurbishing its century-old rail network to boost bulk cargo transportation and passenger travel.

The old line from Naivasha to Malaba has been operational but is in a bad condition, limiting cargo transportation.

The track from Nakuru, which goes through Njoro, Londiani, Kisumu and terminates at Butere, has not been in use.

The refurbishment of the Kisumu railway line is complete and works on the Malaba track are ongoing in the race to link the old railway track to SGR.

Kenya opened the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR line in 2017 and another new line to Naivasha in 2019.

It plans to link the old railway track to the SGR line in Naivasha for seamless cargo movements to the neighbouring countries.