7 New Trains: More Trips For Kisumu

7 New Trains: More Trips For Kisumu

Kenya Railways has purchased seven-passenger and cargo trains to be used on the Nairobi-Kisumu MGR as demand picks. Kenya Railways plans to increase frequencies from one to three trips per week to Kisumu and as well introduce a new route to Butere connecting the Western Circuit.

The passenger service between Nairobi Kisumu resumed in December last year after a Fifteen-year break with its low-cost fares, a round-the-clock restaurant and Wi-Fi on board. According to Kenya Railways Regional Manager for Kisumu Michael Disi, “There has been an increase in demand for passengers on the route, hence the need to increase the frequencies.”

The purchase of the trains comes to meet demand out of an influx of passengers to and fro Kisumu and passengers connecting to Western. “The seven passenger locomotives that we have procured from China are almost complete and we shall receive them by the end of March and we intend to start using them in April.”

“We shall be having two trains on the line, when one is departing Nairobi, another one is leaving Kisumu. These trains will ensure that passengers can travel at night from Kisumu to Nairobi and return in the evening after finishing their business.”

The locomotives are expected to arrive in the country at the end of March. According to Government Spokesperson Rtd Col. Cyrus Oguna, “The transformation of the Nairobi-Kisumu train is a game-changer as far as the development of the region is concerned and will play a significant role in boosting tourism on the western circuit.”

From the maiden passenger train, commuters have been paying Sh600 fare on second class coaches from Nairobi to Kisumu and Sh2,000 on first class for the 12-hour journey. The train operates between 6 am and 6.45 pm, with a stopover in Nakuru. Passengers travelling to Nakuru pay Sh300, and from Nakuru to Kisumu Sh400.

The trip has had 18 two minutes’ stops throughout the day, to allow passengers and crew to disembark, board, stretch, have bitings, and lunch along the way. Catering services are offered onboard by Railways Training Institute catering division.

A cargo rail business is critical to making the Kisumu port a viable public investment. Kisumu Railway Station, which is almost complete, is located along Busia road and is near Kisumu Cotton Mills (KICOMI). The station building is of required professional standards and meets the modern railway station requirements, complete with a ticket area, lounging area, and functional public address system.

The port has made Kisumu a crucial transport corridor in the shipment of cargo into and out of the East African region.