Madaraka Express ; In 2017 buying a train ticket  you ask us to call ?

#MadarakaExpress  ;

45 days down the line we are still NOT able to book online and NOT  book more than 3 days in advance. Now this is what is called mediocrity.  We just can’t sort out a simple booking engine for one trip from either side. We are not even discussing multiple trips. We then dare scream ” Madaraka Express Bila  Stress:

You insist that one  must present self  physically at the station to pick a ticket . It’s like buying a flight ticket but go to JKIA  or MIA  to get your ticket way before travel.  Talk of rehearsing for the trip. Totally unacceptable. 

You open the ticketing office at 7am and by 9am there are no more tickets  but they are available  from brokers within the terminus area at say Ksh 1000.  It is really unfortunate that we have opted to drag such a noble project this low.

Allow me to brutally honest 

I am a big supporter  of SGR project but the ticketing has been nothing but archaic  and in shambles. In this day and age you ask a traveller to call a number to book for a simple train ticket then physically visit  the station??

Why do we behave like it is the first passenger  train in the world?  We have many train services all around the world.

Even our local buses with various multiple connections have successful online booking engines, Why is KR  not able to replicate the same.

As tourism players we want to buy tickets for groups and we are now asked to write a letter applying , excuse me . We are not applying for a passport.  We are only asking to buy a train ticket.

I am afraid the ticketing mess is taking the beauty out of this good project.  As Kenya  Tourism Federation  KTF  we shall formally express our displeasure. It is this confusion that is creating brokers and middlemen. 

We were promised a John Holland  Co an Australian firm was to handle the logistics , why are they missing in action?

Sabotaging the SGR does not necessarily have to be physical. Ticketing mess coupled with rude counter staff is enough sabotage.  I am afraid some of us will not remain silent. We have waited for far too long for this great project to happen.
We shall not remain silent . To KR  I leave you with this quote  by Brian  Wilson. ” Beware the lollipop  of mediocrity ; lick it once and you’ll suck it forever”. This project is too grandiose to be allowed to operate at mediocre level. You will not suck that lollipop  of mediocrity. 

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman, Kenya  Tourism Federation. 

KTF  Kenya’s  Tourism  Umbrella  Body.

5 responses to “Madaraka Express ; In 2017 buying a train ticket  you ask us to call ?”

  1. I hope they can make this happen ASAP. I mean, we from the Diaspora need to have an online platform where we can securely book our tickets and guarantee our travel. It is very disappointing that the hawkers have stepped.


  2. Totally agree and we are making enough noise to deal with this. Trust me you’ll see action .


  3. Abdallah ling'ara avatar
    Abdallah ling’ara

    Seems KR is averse to positive changes no wonder the metre gauge rail was run down just like that. We can neither create more jobs nor improve our economy with such types of attitudes. If individual bus operators have reliable online ticketing systems then its a shame a whole govt organization is all manual….detasteful….


  4. This is how ticketing was on the old Kenya Railways/RVR train when demand was not an issue. The have not adjusted to cope with the volumes of subsidized travelers wanting to use the new service.


  5. Abdallah ling'ara avatar
    Abdallah ling’ara

    KR will quickly be forgotten by time. They always labour to move foward with the rest. Maybe theres no functioning IT dept to hasten an online/automatic booking platform. Its a story retold severally. So is the long promised intercounty service. Indeed almost 2 months since the inaugural trips. Just wish them the best in whatever they can implement….


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