Kenyans will pay only Sh900 for economy train rides between Nairobi and Mombasa under the ‘Madaraka Express’ service that will begin in June.
First class rides between the cities will cost Sh3,000.
The passenger service will operate two types of trains – intercity and county.
The intercity option will see trains operate between the cities with the county option will make stops at Mariakani, Maisenyi, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali and Athi River.
Intercity trains have a capacity of 1,200 and will take four and a half hours while the county train will take about five and a half hours.
Charges for containerised cargo from the Port of Mombasa to the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi have been set at $500 (Sh51,675). Other freight will cost Sh32,800 to transport.
This will result in a 40 per cent decline in the cost of cargo transport in comparison to the $800 (Sh80,000) to $900 (Sh 90,000) cost of transporting goods by road between Mombasa and Nairobi.
The amount of time taken to transport goods will decline from 16 to 24 hours to a maximum of eight.
With a total of 33 stations, two main stations (Mombasa and Nairobi), seven intermediate and 24 crossing stations between the cities, both freight and passenger services are set to operate simultaneously and seamlessly. Passenger trains will be given right of way.
The inaugural trip on the SGR from Nairobi to Mombasa took about five hours on Monday. The passenger train left Nairobi at 2pm and arrived in Mombasa at around 7pm.
[PHOTOS] SGR train makes first Nairobi to Mombasa trip in five hours
President Uhuru Kenyatta will officially launch SGR operations on Wednesday, at Port Riz where the cargo train trip from Mombasa will be flagged off.
According to the feasibility study, the Standard Gauge Railway will reduce transport costs, compared to road transport, especially as volume increases.
The SGR is expected to shorten the distance between Nairobi and Mombasa, and facilitate efficient cargo transportation.
Read: Kenya gets additional locomotives ahead of SGR launch in June