The SGR Inter County and Madaraka Express trains have certainly made the Kenyan Coast, Nairobi and towns in between both cities more accessible. Comfortable and affordable, the trains have been a wonderful alternative for people like me who love the coast but dislike flying to it.
For my first trip on the SGR, I travelled with the 3 pm Madaraka Express trains from Nairobi to Mombasa and back. This time, I decided to go with the 8 am Inter County trains.
Both trains are more or less the same, the only difference is in the number of stops that they make. The online and offline booking processes, fares and carriages are the same.
Getting To the Nairobi Terminus in Syokimau
I left my home at about 6 am to arrive early enough at the terminus to go through the various security checkpoints, print my ticket and catch the train. The Uber ride took about 30 minutes and cost me 940 shillings. As I have mentioned in my previous SGR post, the train pulls out of the station at the exact stated time, so it is advisable to arrive at least one hour before the scheduled departure.
The last time I took the train, my Uber ride was an hour-long due to traffic. Do not underestimate the traffic situation in Nairobi or you might miss your train!
Getting To the Mombasa Terminus in Miritini
After my trip to Kilifi, I decided to spend an extra night in Mombasa and I stayed in Mombasa City. I also left my accommodation at 6 am for the 8 am train. My tuk-tuk ride was about 30 minutes long and cost me 700 shillings. In Mombasa, most Uber drivers prefer a cash trip to a card trip, leading to many cancellations. This might be something to keep in mind if you plan to visit and use this service.
One more thing about my journey on the SGR Inter County train. The carriage from Mombasa to Nairobi was incredibly hot. I don’t remember this being the case for my onward trip or any other trips I have taken in the past. Just based on this, I’d rather book with the 3 pm or 10 pm Express trains the next time I travel this route.
SGR Inter County Train Schedule
The Inter County trains from Nairobi to Mombasa and back are scheduled to run at 8 am. They both make several stops along the way and arrive at their destinations by 2 pm and 2:10 pm respectively.
SGR Inter County Online Booking
The process of making an online booking on the SGR Inter County train is the same as that of the Express trains. It can be done through the KRC website and payment is via Mpesa or through Safaricom by dialling *639# and following the prompts.
SGR Fares From Nairobi to Mombasa (and Vice Versa)
An economy class ticket on the SGR Inter County train costs 1,000ksh while a first-class ticket costs 3,000ksh. Children between 3 and 11 years old pay half the price, while children under 3 years can ride for free.
SGR Inter County Train FAQs
Wrapping this post up with some frequently asked questions about the train services from Nairobi to Mombasa and back.
What is the difference between Inter County and Express SGR?
There are two main differences between the SGR Inter County and SGR Madaraka Express trains. The Inter County trains make stops at seven intermediate stations while the express trains do not stop until their final destinations (i.e. Nairobi or Mombasa). In addition, the SGR Inter County trains take about 6 hours to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa and vice versa while the express trains take 5 hours.
PS: From February 2023, the Madaraka Express Trains will make one stop at Voi Station, extending the time of arrival by about 20 minutes.
What are the SGR Inter County Stops
The SGR Inter County trains make stops at the following stations: Mariakani, Miasenyi, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali, Athi River
Does the SGR have toilets?
Yes, the trains are equipped with toilets at both ends of every carriage and they are cleaned regularly
Can you carry snacks on the SGR train?
Yes, snacks are allowed on the trains. Alcoholic beverages may however be confiscated.
Can I board SGR without ID?
No, a valid original ID card is mandatory for access to the train terminal. The ID card can be a valid passport, Kenya National Identity Card or an Alien Card (Foreigner’s Certificate), Smart Driving License, Huduma Card, Kenya Military Identity Card, Diplomatic ID, Valid National ID Waiting Card and a Police abstract indicating loss of ID.
Does the SGR have WIFI onboard?
No, there is no WIFI onboard. If you would like to remain online, it’s bests to purchase a SIM card. I use Safaricom and the service is usually great for the entire duration of the trip.
Does SGR have charging points?
Yes. The First-Class carriages have a charging point on each row while the Economy carriages have ports at the end of the berths.
Want to find out more about the SGR Inter County and Madaraka Express trains? Leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!