SGR Nairobi – Mombasa Test Ride
There’s been a lot of controversy about Kenya’s largest infrastructure project since independence, centred mostly around the Kshs327 billion price tag. I’m not here to throw my weight behind any of the arguments, but simply to show you what I saw when I took a ride from Nairobi to Mombasa.
It was on the invite of IMG Events & PR that I joined a select group of about 200 people made up mostly of people from Kenya’s Tourism Ministry on a test ride that would take us 472 kilometres to the coastal city of Mombasa. This was on 13th April 2017.
We gathered at the Nairobi Terminus in Embakasi, off the A104 along the Old Mombasa Road. The usual Mombasa Road traffic didn’t allow me to get there in time to capture the terminus in the glorious sunrise of the day.
Inside the terminal building, we found construction workers busy putting finishing touches to escalators and other fittings that you’d expect to find in a modern railway terminus.
On the platform, the train was ready for boarding. It was a long one. Around 800 metres in length! That reduced our journey to Mombasa to 471.2 kilometres!
First Class Seating.
Third Class Seating.
We set off at around 8.30am, with ushers like the one above asking us to mind our step as we boarded the train. We rode smoothly past the Nairobi National Park where we could spot some wildlife grazing peacefully, and into the Kapiti Plains where we began to appreciate the beauty of Kenya even more. Two short hours later, we were in Mtito Andei, our first stop for the day.
It was a 20-minute stop so before we could take in all the beauty of the station, the train driver honked for us to get back onboard.
A few minutes later, we were in Voi.
All the stations are designed differently. This one has the V-shape from Voi.
Riding through Tsavo National Park, we saw several elephants covered in the signature red Tsavo soils, grazing in large herds.
Shortly, we were finally in Mombasa!
After lunch at the terminus, we got back in the train and in four-and-a-half hours, we were back to Nairobi.
You can watch a vlog I did about my experience below.