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Restrictions: Kenyans heave sigh of relief as train services resume

By Harrison Kivisu
Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
SGR train at Mombasa terminus. Photo/Courtesy
In summary

TRAVEL:  Kenyans continued to enjoy resumption of passenger trains as hundreds continued to flock Mombasa through Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) yesterday.

The first SGR train arrived at the Miritini Train Terminus in Mombasa from Nairobi on Monday afternoon with hundreds of passengers after a month-long suspension due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.

Some of the passengers travelling for holidays and business deals at the port city expressed satisfaction with train operations which they described as effective and convenient.

Among the tourists were Basel Ali and Ann Kipusi of canadian origin who arrived yesterday by the 1.00pm passenger train for holiday in Mombasa.

They welcomed the government’s decision to gradually open up the economy by easing the Covid-19 restrictions.

“We are grateful for the resumption of passenger trains. We have been bored locked up in Nairobi for a whole month when the government imposed a restriction of movement, but now we can enjoy our holiday,” said Ali.

Train services had been halted as a result of lockdown in five infected counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru.

Kenya Railways Company announced on Sunday that the schedule of trains remain unchanged with the Inter-county train departing from Mombasa and Nairobi at 8:00am, the Express train departing at 3:00pm, and the Night train departing at 10:00pm.

Taxi operators at the Miritini Terminus also expressed happiness for the resumption of activities at the facility, which now enables them to rake in daily income by transporting passengers in and out of the station.

“Business was at standstill, we used to make about Sh2,000 per day but since the operations were halted, we all stayed away.

But with resumption of services, we are happy to resume work,” said Isaia Omollo, a taxi driver at the terminus.

Adversely affected

According to Omollo who doubles as the chairman of the operators about 800 drivers operating at the facility had been adversely affected by the suspension of train services.

By yesterday all the booking points along the Mombasa Nairobi-Linkage were operational and all the booking platforms had been opened to the public for online purchase of tickets.

 A company official who is not authorized to speak to the media at the Miritini Train station indicated that unutilized tickets due to the just concluded Cessation of Movement Order, customers are advised to reschedule for travel at a preferred date.

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