Preparations were in high gear at the Nairobi and Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) termini ahead of the expected resumption of passenger train services from Monday, July 13.
A passenger train is set to leave Nairobi for Mombasa at 8.00 a.m, with social distancing protocols to be adhered to strictly to curb the spread of Covid-19.
A video that surfaced on Sunday, July 12, showed ongoing cleaning and fumigation of facilities at the Nairobi SGR terminus.
Workers wiped and fumigated almost every inch of the terminus, from the turnstiles at the check-in area to the chairs in the lounges.
From ticket validation upon arrival to the entire duration of the 4-hour trip, social distancing is to be strictly adhered to by all passengers.
Each coach will have its allowed passenger capacity reduced to 50%. Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia had announced that an extra coach would be deployed for isolation.
A total of ten coaches will be provided to ferry up to 600 passengers for trips between Nairobi and the Coastal city.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, July 8, Macharia also revealed that a new commuter train service would be unveiled between the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) and Syokimau.
“This service shall run from Nairobi CBD to SGR terminus at 6:35 a.m. in the morning,” he noted.
Macharia urged all passengers planning to use the Madaraka Express and the Nairobi Commuter service to stick to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
“We must always stay alert while the Covid-19 pandemic persists. We must continue to control the virus and save lives because if we all play our part we shall defeat the virus and revive the economy and boost the economic fortunes of the country," he stated.
The resumption of commuter train services was announced following the lifting of cessation of movement orders in various counties by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Cargo services on the SGR had still been operational during the Covid-19 period.
The resumption of SGR passenger services has been tipped to help boost the tourism industry at the Coast affected by international travel restrictions.Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking at KICC on March 17, 2016.Daily Nation
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