Inside Politics

SGR passenger train to resume, but with only half capacity

Saturday, July 11th, 2020 17:47 |
The Madaraka Express during a stop-over at the Mtito Andei station. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Madaraka Express operator Afristar has okayed the resumption of the passenger train with the first locomotive set to leave Nairobi Monday, July 13 at 8:00 am.

The passenger trains will operate on half the capacity to comply with the new health directives to control Covid-19.

The operator said one train shall initially carry passengers from Nairobi to Mombasa in time limits within the curfew timelines.

From Mombasa, the train shall be expected to arrive in Nairobi at 6:40 pm to give the passengers enough time before the 9:00 pm curfew.

In preparedness for Covid-19, the operator has set an additional one out of ten coaches to isolate passengers who might board with suspicious symptoms.

Kenya Railways trains will link the passengers from the Syokimau SGR terminal to Nairobi CBD.

"The operator shall deploy 10 coaches for passengers with a total one-way capacity of 600 passengers (or 50% of capacity), and one additional coach that shall be used to isolate passengers suspected to be infected with Covid-19," said Afristar.

On resumption, the operator has vowed to comply with the government's directives on keeping corona at bay.

“Based on our experience, we believe the spread of Covid-19 can be controlled by the implementation of prevention measures. By adhering to strict Covid-19 prevention measures, Afristar has attained a ‘zero infection rate’ among staff who have been working during the pandemic period to provide efficient 24hour SGR freight services," Afristar added.

The operator was, however, hopeful that with the 60 percent occupancy rate and the curfew in place, resumption of the passenger trains will be worthwhile.

Seeing the high risks of contracting coronavirus in public transport system, an adult will be allowed to be accompanied by a maximum of two children.

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