Booking a Madaraka Express Passenger Train at the SGR Terminus is time-consuming and tiring. The queues are long, and the paperwork is tedious. Luckily, the Kenya Railways’ online-based ticket booking system is far less stressful.
The system allows you to book the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) train from home, office, or another place on your phone, tablet, or computer. Once you successfully purchase a train ticket online, you might never do it at the station again.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to book an SGR ticket online on your phone. Read on to discover three ways to buy your ticket on the phone.
How to Book an SGR Ticket Online on Your Phone
The Kenya Railways offers three simple methods of booking a Madaraka Express train ticket on your phone. These include:
Madaraka Express Service Website
You will do a series of steps to complete the train booking process on the website. Check them out below:
Step 1: Choose Your Best Train
- Visit the “Madaraka Express website” and tap “Book Ticket” on the homepage.
- Move beneath the “Train Type” option and choose either “Inter-Country” or “Express.”
- Touch the second box to see the open SGR booking stations. Select your “Starting station,”
- Press the third box to select your “Destination.”
Note that the Inter-Country train travels in the morning hours from 8 AM to 2.08 PM. One train leaves Nairobi and the other one Mombasa. Inter-Country trains have a few stop-over terminals, including:
- Athi River
- Mtito Adei
The Express trains travel in the afternoon hours between Nairobi and Mombasa. They depart from the starting terminus at 3 PM and get to the destination terminus by 8.30 PM. The Express train drops off people at Voi only.
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Step 2: Pick Your Travel Dates
We stopped at the third box above, where you chose your destination. To share your travel dates, do the following:
- Touch the fourth box and share your “Travel date.”
- If you will enter the afternoon Express Train, move to the last box and select your “Departure time.”
- Tap the “Book a Train “button to view the trains going to your destination.
Step 3: Enter the Number of Your Travel Mates
Upon tapping “Book a Train” above, a new page will emerge. It showcases the price you would pay to board the two train classes: First Class and Economy. So, book tickets for your travel buddies like this:
- Move down slightly and enter the number of those accompanying you on this train trip.
- Also, choose the “Train class” you want to get on.
- The ticketing system will generate a note showing the overall train fare, departure time, and arrival time.
- Touch the “Book a train” tab to see the next page.
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Step 4: Enter Booking Details
This page is quite tiresome because you need to enter each passenger’s details.
- So, fill out each person’s “ID or passport number” in the blank spaces. In the case of children, enter the “guardian’s ID or passport number.”
- Share your M-PESA phone number to facilitate payment later.
- Press the “Proceed for Payment” button to see the next page.
Step 5: Confirm Booking Details
The next thing on how to book an SGR ticket online on your phone is confirming your ticket details. The page you will land on will present your train trip summary. So:
- Read the trip summary and remove any errors you might come across.
- Verify you are not a robot by doing what the system asks of you.
- Tap to accept “Terms and Conditions.”
- Confirm your “Payment option” by choosing between “Pay Now” and “Pay Later.”
Step 6: Pay for the Tickets
The last part entails paying for your train tickets via the Pay Now option. Do it this way:
- Navigate to the “Choose Payment Option” tab and touch “Pay Now.”
- Wait for the online booking system to process the payment automatically via your “M-PESA” wallet number.
- Once you see a “Pop-up text,” tap it and enter your “M-PESA PIN.”
- Press “OK” and wait for a payment confirmation text on your smartphone.
- After about two minutes, validate the transaction on the same page.
The online ticketing system is easy to use, as you can see. However, server overload or some other technical issues might interfere with the automatic payment processing. In this case, the SGR ticketing system will take you to a new web page enabling you to pay directly by M-PESA.
MPESA Super APP
The M-PESA Super App enables you to book a Madaraka Express train online. Get it from the Google Play Store. Here are the steps:
- Launch your “M-PESA Super App” and log in to it.
- Tap “Services.”
- Choose “Madaraka Express.”
- Choose your best “Travel date and time.”
- Enter the tickets and tap “Continue.”
- Enter your details, including “Name,” “ID /passport number,” “Phone number,” and other contact details.
- Choose between the “First Class” and “Economy” train classes.
- Enter your “M-PESA Number” and tap “Pay.”
The last part of our guide on how to book an SGR ticket online on your phone is for feature mobile users (Kabambe/Mulika Mwizi Phones).
Simply dial *639# and follow the step-wise instructions to book your SGR train ticket. The USSD code method is long but still more helpful than booking an SGR train ticket at the station.
Updated SGR Train Fares
The Kenya Railways recently announced a train fare hike starting on 1st January 2024. This increase has happened because of the ever-rising fuel cost in Kenya. The rate hike will affect even those who want to book these trains:
- Nairobi Commuter Rail Service
- Nanyuki Safari Train
- Kisumu Safari Train
The tables below demonstrate the SGR train fare prices starting in January 2024.
First Class SGR Fares from Nairobi to Mombasa:
|First Class Train||Stop-over Terminus||Fare in KES|
|Nairobi Terminus to||Athi-River||180|
Economy Class SGR Fares from Nairobi to Mombasa
|Economy Train||Stop-over Terminus||Fare in KES|
|Nairobi Terminus to||Athi-River||90|
Note that those who enter the trains from Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito-Andei, Voi, Masenyi, and Mariakani will pay lower fares. The fares for both train classes will reduce as you get closer to Mombasa.