Kenyans travelling in the SGR’s economy class train under the service dubbed “Madaraka Express” will only pay sh 900 between Nairobi and Mombasa while those in business class will be charged sh 3000.
The Standard Gauge Railway operations will officially start on 31 May, 2017, following President Uhuru Kenyatta official launch the same day, at Port Riz where the cargo train trip from Mombasa will be flagged off.
The cost of travelling by bus from Mombasa to Nairobi and vice versa usually ranges between Sh 1,000-1600 and takes 7-8 hours.
Charges for containerized cargo from the Port of Mombasa to the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi have been set at $500 (Sh51, 675) while other freight will cost Sh32, 800.
The cost of transporting cargo under the SGR is lower than the $800 (Sh80, 000) to $900 (Sh 90,000) merchants have been paying to transport goods by road.
The passenger train, which will only take between 4-5 hours between the Mombasa and Nairobi, will operate two types of services – intercity and county. The intercity trains have a capacity of 1,200 will operate between the cities while the county option will make stops at Mariakani, Maisenyi, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali and Athi River.
The SGR has a total of 33 stations, two main stations (Mombasa and Nairobi), and seven intermediate and 24 crossing stations between the cities.Both freight and passenger services are set to operate simultaneously and seamlessly but the former will be given right of way.
The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since independence.