A sneak preview of Kenya’s new passenger train

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A final check on the train that’s been called a game-changer for Kenya, the standard gauge railway (SGR) between Mombasa and Nairobi has been under construction for two and a half years. Now, it’s ready for passengers.

And, we’re among the first to get you a look inside. Now previously this journey to Mombasa would take about 12 hours, on the standard gauge railway they’re aiming to cut that travel time to under 5 hours now the train has just departed from the station in Nairobi, its 7.48 in the morning, we will check in later on how long it actually takes to get to Mombasa.

The train has a first class and an economy class. But rarely has budget travel been so comfortable at least not when compared to the SGR’s predecessor. Every carriage has an attendant.

Another important upgrade is the air conditioning.

In the first class cabin, there’s a lot more legroom in comparison to economy, and a few more added comforts like a tray table that one can put your drinks or snacks on, there’s also a power point to charge your devices during the long journey ahead, plus the seat also reclines for added comfort.

As the train passes through the Tsavo National Park, passengers get to experience a mini-safari too, from the comfort of their carriage.

But just how many people can this train carry?

“You see this coach the capacity is about 106 people and for the whole train we have 15 coaches. So that means the whole capacity for example from Nairobi to Mombasa can accommodate 1590 people,” said Zhao Yang, Relations Manager, China Road & Bridge Corp.

And we finally arrived in Mombasa its 13.53, so about 5 minutes behind schedule but not bad for a test run.

The train will make a daily return trip between Mombasa and Nairobi with seven stops along the way.

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