When the SGR was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Madaraka Day, 1st June 2017, Kenyans were all excited to try the new train.
The SGR shortened the time it took to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa or from Mombasa to Nairobi from 9 hours by road and 12 hours by the previous railway to 4.5 hours via the SGR.
Currently, the Madaraka Express Line only has two timelines when passengers can travel to Nairobi or to Mombasa.
From Nairobi to Mombasa, the SGR county train leaves the terminus at 8:20 am and arrives at 2:18 pm in the Mombasa terminus.
The SGR Express train on the other hand leaves the Mombasa terminus at 2:35 pm and arrives back in Nairobi at 7:18 pm.
From Mombasa to Nairobi, the SGR County train leaves the terminus at exactly 8:00 am and arrives in Nairobi at 1:42 pm.
The SGR Express train leaves Mombasa at 3:15 pm and arrives in Nairobi 8:14 pm
In my opinion, I find the timelines for the SGR to be very inconvenient. Why doesn’t the SGR have overnight trips to and from Mombasa?
Say for example you plan for a weekend getaway with family or friends in Mombasa but you work from Monday to Friday, 8 am – 5 pm as is the norm for most Kenyans.
If you plan on leaving for Mombasa after work and travel overnight, the only other means would be to use a bus or a flight.
And, lets be honest, no one enjoys a 9-hour drive by bus, not to mention that the buses fare is expensive than the SGR.
On top of that, buses have been known to cause accidents that have claimed thousands of lives.
If you travelled by the SGR, you are guaranteed of a safe trip without any accidents and at the same time save a lot of time used in travelling.
If the SGR had an overnight trip, say from 9 pm from the Nairobi terminus, it would arrive in the Mombasa terminus at 1:30 pm. This would give you at least some time to sleep before embarking on your day’s activities the following day.
I’m not sure why the SGR doesn’t have overnight trips to and from Mombasa, but when I reached out to them via email, here is the answer they gave me.