Commuter Train Services in Nairobi Kenya
Nairobi Commuter Railway is a rail service that connects the Nairobi Central Business District with suburbs and settlements out of the city. The rail service plays a major role in the public transport system of Nairobi city.
Currently, there are 5 train services that ferry people to and from Nairobi both in the morning and evening. Among the 5 services, one is a link to the new Madaraka Express SGR Terminus in Syokimau Nairobi.
Many city residents still prefer using other public means of transport like buses but those who have used the trains once seems to never go back to the buses.
Despite a few challenges, traveling by the trains in Nairobi has more advantages over other means of transport.
The Nairobi Railway Station
Nairobi Railways station is located next to the busy Railways Bus Station in Nairobi. Some of the nearby attractions include; Nairobi Railway Museum, the “railway graveyard” – where the old train wagons and coaches are parked – and the August 7 Memorial Park (Bomb Blast).
The station is centrally located for easy access by passengers has a restaurant, a spacious waiting area, and amenities such as washrooms.
Why you should use Nairobi Commuter trains
Cheap: The train fare is between Kshs 35 and Kshs 60 for all the routes.
Reliable: The service is the most reliable – No traffic jam, no fare hike, no queue, and the trains leaves exactly on time.
Scenic: The one this I love about the train rides is the scenery. The open windows give you a great morning and evening view of Nairobi. Along the way, you get to see the structures, people and landscape of the city outskirts.
Comfort: Unlike some Matatus in the city, the train is comfortable. There is enough leg space and less noise – safe for the track rail music.
Safe: The trains are less prone to accidents compared to other means of transport in the city.
Networking: I find commuting in a train more interactive than in Matatus. This is good for people who want to make friends.
Peace: If you are looking for a better way to have a personal moment to reflect and be peaceful after a long day at work, just take a train ride home.
Challenges you might encounter with Nairobi Commuter trains
Just like everything else, the Nairobi Commuter Train has its own challenges. The most notable once include;
Mechanical failure: Sometimes the locomotives may experience mechanical failures due to old age and bad weather.
Timing: The trains run only in the mornings and evenings. This might not work for people who want to travel during daytime.
Note: There is an afternoon SGR Link train for passengers travelling to Mombasa with Madaraka Express Train.
Speed: In occasions when there is no traffic on the roads, the trains are slower compared to Matatus, personal cars and TukTuks.
Convenience: The train does not run on weekends and public holidays. Also, unlike with Matatus, the drop off points might be an inconvenience to people who live far from the railway stations.
Nairobi Commuter Railway Routes and Services
Below are the available Nairobi commuter train routes and stops;
- Nairobi – Kibera –Dagoretti – Kikuyu
- Nairobi – Makadara – Umoja – Dandora – Githurai – Kahawa – Ruiru
- SGR Link: Nairobi – Nairobi SGR Terminus – Syokimau
- Nairobi – Makadara – Dohnholm – Pipeline – Embakasi
- Nairobi – Imara Daima- Syokimau 1 – Syokimau 2