Did you know that the SGR, also known as Madaraka Express, is Kenya’s most expensive infrastructure project since independence? It costs a whopping 3.6Billion USD
It currently runs from Mombasa to Nairobi, connecting the capital city to the vibrant coastal town. Although, the ultimate goal is for the SGR to connect Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda
It has cut travel time to less than 5hours. As opposed to previously where the choices strictly lied between a 10-hour bus ride, 24-hour train ride or a 45-minute expensive flight.
That explains why it’s managed to carry a total of 2 Million passengers within just 17 months of operation. It’s quite popular as it’s faster, cheaper and safer.
Planning on heading down to the coast?
I suggest using the SGR-Madaraka Express as you’ll be blessed with sightings of wild animals as it passes between Tsavo East and West National Park. So Be prepared for an all-around amazing experience
HOW TO BOOK
There are three ways:-
1.USSD Code *639#
- Go to metickets.krc.co.ke
- Select the Preferred train (Madaraka Express for the afternoon or SGR intercounty for morning travel)
- Select your Starting station ( Nairobi, Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Miaseny, Mariakani, Mtito Andei, Voi or Mombasa )
- Type in or Select your desired destination (Nairobi, Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Miaseny, Mariakani, Mtito Andei, Voi or Mombasa)
- Indicate or select the travel date
- Select the coach type and indicate the number of passengers (Second Class or First class)
- Enter the passenger details (Full names, ID/Passport number, and Country)
- Select the payment option (Mpesa)
3. Over The Counter
You can purchase tickets at the railway stations. The counters open from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm
After booking you’ll receive a Mpesa message. In the message there is an account number from SGR, you will use this account number together with the phone number you used to book with to print the tickets at the departure train station. Arrive an hour in advance.
There is a security check, actually several security checks and if you miss the train chances of getting another one especially during this festive season is a lie. There’s nothing like being fashionably late with the SGR. Although in case you really need to travel, I might know someone who could help you secure an emergency ticket *wink wink*. So hit me up- contact
BOOKING FOR CHILDREN
Each adult passenger can bring 1 child of 3 years or below. The child will travel free of charge.
In case an adult passenger is travelling with two or more children, the other children must pay half the ticket price.
Cases where a passenger is travelling with twins, triplets or quadruplets, the children shall be deemed as one (1) child provided there is proof of birth e.g a birth certificate. One is thus encouraged to carry all relevant certificates and present them at the counter in such cases. For cases where proof of birth is not available, the child will be required to pay the full ticket amount.
The SGR-Madaraka Express offers two types of trains
- The Express Train
- The Intercounty Train
The Express train does not stop along the way during the course of the journey.
X1 (Express) Train from Mombasa to Nairobi
Departs Mombasa Terminus: 3:15 pm
Arrives Nairobi Terminus: 8:15 pm
Travel Time 5 hours
X2 (Express) Train from Nairobi to Mombasa
Departs Nairobi: 2:30 pm
Arrives Mombasa :7:20 pm
Travel Time 4hours 50minutes
The Intercounty SGR-Madaraka Express Train passes through all stations (Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Miaseny, Mariakani, Mtito Andei, Voi )
T1 (Intercounty) train from Mombasa to Nairobi
Departs Mombasa Terminus: 7:15 am
Arrives Nairobi Terminus: 1:05 pm.
Travel Time: 5 hours, 50 minutes
T2 (Intercounty) train from Nairobi to Mombasa
Depart Nairobi Terminus: 8:00 am
Arrives Mombasa Terminus: 1:55 pm
Travel Time: 5 hours 55 minutes
SGR- MADARAKA EXPRESS FUN FACTS
- Mombasa Terminus is concentric circles and a central tower, representing a ripple in the ocean.
- Nairobi Terminus is Two trains with a bridge on top.
- The Madaraka Express has a capacity to carry 1260 passengers.
- It travels at a maximum speed of 120km/h
- One can book for 10 people at one go
- Maximum luggage per passenger: 30 Kg
- Luggage measurement: Not more than 1.6 m * 1.6 m
- One can book up to 30 days in advance
- For group bookings contact KRC
Write to Operations Manager-ME,
P.o Box 30121-00100,
Send an email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Customers seeking to travel as a group should book the ride (reserve the seats) at least thirty-two (32) days to the date of travel.
The Nairobi Terminus is located in Syokimau area of Nairobi County; 20 kilometres away from the Nairobi CBD.
Mombasa Terminus is located in Miritini area of Mombasa County; 11 kilometres away from Mombasa CBD.
How do I get from Nairobi city to SGR train station & Vice Versa?
There is a commuter train from the city centre at old Nairobi Railway station which transfers passengers to the main station every day at 06:00 am. You can also board a bus at Railways bus station which will drop you at Old Mombasa Rd along Mombasa road. The Main station is at a walking distance from the main road. There are also boda-bodas (Motorcycle taxis) which will charge you Kshs 50 to the station.
When Can I Get a Refund?
If by any chance you’re unable to travel, here are KRC refund policies.
If you claim your refund before the train leaves, you get 80% of the ticket price back.
The refund cannot be carried out at the intermediate station or destination station.
The refund cannot be carried out in case a ticket is unrecognizable due to damage or contamination.
Refunds will not be issued after the journey has commenced, at Intermediate or destination stations.
Whether you’re in Nairobi or Mombasa the accommodation possibilities are endless.
- Jumia Travel
SGR-Madaraka Express Contacts0709 388 887 – Madaraka Express Passenger Service inquiries, complaints, lost & found.
0709 388 888 – Madaraka Express Passenger Service bookings.
0709 907 000 – Kenya Railways Headquarters customer care.
Free coffee courtesy of Madaraka Express Train. Also evidence of how clumsy I can get.