SGR Ride: Mombasa to Nairobi, a peasant's experience.

So had travelled to the Coast for some work, visited the Port/SGR yard, curiosity got better of me, decided to experiment and here is my experience. I tried as much as possible to avoid photos of my fellow passengers but failed at times. cc @Malaika Firth , @tulutulu @Okwonkwo
Disclaimer: I used phone camera and i’m not a professional photographer. Credits for the video go to a fellow passenger who shared it via Bluetooth after i failed to capture trains interchanging at Mtito Andei.
This is KPA berth No. 21. The SGR is intended to go all the way to berth No.1 Transporting of cargo to commnece in December 2017/Jan 2018.
The SGR marshalling yard. This is within KPA premises adjacent to berth No.21. The locomotives are in an area that was once in the sea but was reclaimed.[ATTACH=full]103681[/ATTACH]
This is where containers will be loaded onto the wagons using the giant cranes. They run on 15m rails, SGR rails are (1.45m wide)[ATTACH=full]103682[/ATTACH]Mombasa Terminus. Notice the 4 NYS buses for ferrying passengers to CBD. While aboard the train, heard fellow passengers say that matatus are available from CBD and charge 100/= to Miritini.
Train from Nairobi arrives at Mombasa.
Spur of the moment, decided to book ticket for the following day.
Please not that no ID was needed for booking. The ticketing at this point is not intelligent. Had i lost the above ticket, anybody would have used it. Ktalk CSI cannot know my identity from the ticket. No Mpesa payments accepted(as at date of booking)

The day of boarding the train.
[ATTACH=full]103687[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103690[/ATTACH]
Train departs at 9:00am
View of Dongo Kundu bypass road being constructed to ease traffic on the Likoni Channel ferry.
Wananchi and service crew aboard the Madaraka Express.
A 2nd class coach carries 118 passengers. Didn’t see provision for standing passengers.
Apologies to my fellow passenger. Wanted to capture service crew.
Notice the sentry on attention. When train passes through a station, the crew stand at attention till the train zooms past.
[ATTACH=full]103704[/ATTACH] The Metre Gauge (MGR) with a locomotive hauling metal sheets running parallel to the SGR.
[ATTACH=full]103705[/ATTACH] Cargo trucks on Mombasa Road( had to zoom to eliminate fellow passengers) Also notice the complimentary bottled water served to passengers.
[ATTACH=full]103707[/ATTACH] Lunatic Express(MGR) passes under the Madaraka Express(SGR).
Colonial bridge[ATTACH=full]103710[/ATTACH]
Mbui Nzau neighbourhood.
Toilet seat[ATTACH=full]103712[/ATTACH] Service counter in the Dining car.
[ATTACH=full]103713[/ATTACH] Bored commuter passing time in the Dining car.[ATTACH=full]103714[/ATTACH] Dining car has sockets so the Android owners can charge their phones.
[ATTACH=full]103715[/ATTACH] Typical view of the coach.
2nd class three seat.
[ATTACH=full]103715[/ATTACH][ATTACH=full]103716[/ATTACH] @pamba on patrol
[ATTACH=full]103717[/ATTACH] Selfie moment. (Apologies for intruding)
[ATTACH=full]103718[/ATTACH] Emali neighbourhood. Truck on Mombasa Road.
[ATTACH=full]103719[/ATTACH] Had to check the speed of the train, this is the highest i could record.
[ATTACH=full]103720[/ATTACH] Train speed is displayed on the LCD panel on each coach.
[ATTACH=full]103721[/ATTACH] Around Athi River.
[ATTACH=full]103722[/ATTACH] Approaching Syokimau. Notice the Old commuter train plying Syokimau-Madaraka to Railways Station.
Welcome to Nairobi[ATTACH=full]103725[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103726[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103727[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103728[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103729[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103730[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103731[/ATTACH]
[ATTACH=full]103732[/ATTACH] View from the escalator.
[ATTACH=full]103733[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103734[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]103735[/ATTACH] NYS and Postaliner waiting for passengers for transfer to CBD.
Final view.

Kenya is making progress, someday we will make it.
I love trains, i hope to use more of them.


This is good.
You are the first villager to post your experience


How long are we going to maintain the service quality?


good stuff @holycow


Wawawawawa…very nice thread. Na kwani kuna mahali inainuka juu kama ndege inorder for you to take those arial shots?



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Thank you so much for this. I’m taking my whole family soon on it for a weekend at the coast.

The cargo service is being fast tracked. They got too many inquiries and some are will to start right away. The double stacked wagons are in the ocean on their way. Heavy gauged steel wagons. Can’t wait to see them.


Cheers man. What was the time of arrival?




You are modest, but this is an outstanding travelogue! !

Please create an album in mediasection so that these photos do not get snowed in by new threads.


Negative expectations za nini brathee? ?


mlifika Nairobi saangapi? na hizo seats don’t look comfy ?

Ulianza safari at 9am na ukafika saa ngapi?

waziii mzito. Mbisha ndio zimekataa kufungua kwa phone. hebu nijaribu laptop nizione vizuri kabisa. Alafu hiyo economy class, vote hazijafinyana kama za city hoppa @holycow?

@holycow how many hours did it take to Nairobi?

in the other thread alisema alifika Syokimau at 1340hrs


I love using trains, i love trains especially the ones churning out smoke. Visited the Railway Museum many times just to enjoy seeing the trains that served during E.A.R&H. Black and White photos of the Lunatic Express really excite me. Most inspiring one is that of Florence Preston wife to Engineer Preston laying the last sleeper at Kisumu(Port Florence, named after her) in 1901. Well, i used the Kikuyu train for over 7 years before it became very unreliable. I’d go back to using it if the services improve. Also used the Nairobi - Kisumu train which would take over 16 hours before getting to Kisumu, couldn’t find the photos of the beautiful , colonial railways girder. Pains me the line was let to rot away, same way the Voi -Taveta-Tanzania, Nairobi-Nanyuki and Gilgil - Nyahururu lines rots away . I’ve also sampled rail in some country.
Nairobi - Kikuyu (Photo taken November 2012 )

Cairo Metro, light rail (Photo taken June 2015)[ATTACH=full]103762[/ATTACH]
Commuters using Cairo Metro (Photo taken June 2015, was worried might be confronted)
TGV at Nime station taken July 2016 from hotel room.
Close up view of TGV at Nime France (July 2016)
Signage at the Nime station . July 2016.
Measuring train speed. Ktalk CSI, don’t bother much about my hands. Speed measured between Paris and Montpelier. (July 2016)
Light Metro rail in Paris. (July 2016.)
Inside the Paris metro from Charles De Gaulle. The trains are driverless, just computers. (July 2016)[ATTACH=full]103770[/ATTACH]
Paris Metro gates. July 2016
[ATTACH=full]103772[/ATTACH] Signage inside the metro showing various destination. The light goes on when the train gets to the respective station. (July 2016)


To be honest we in UOTP FEEL good when my country shines . But what hurts us is at what cost. I propose proper audit trail of all txns involved during tendering


…how were you able to take photos…ama unapiga tu watu picha tu hivyo tu?

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[quote=“Abba, post:18, topic:115106”]

To be honest we I in UOTP FEEL good when my country shines . But what hurts us is at what cost. I propose proper audit trail of all txns involved during tendering

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