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How To Make your SGR Booking.

You can now make your SGR Booking in Kenya from anywhere on your phone or computer. The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) takes travellers from Nairobi to Mombasa via various counties. It is a good idea to book your seat on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) trains because you can get a seat early before they sell out, among other reasons. There are multiple ways to make your SGR bookings which include via the KRA website, USSD, and calling a Kenya Railways representative. In this article, we will discuss why SGR bookings are important, different ways to make SGR bookings, and various tips about the journey. 

Why is it important to make your SGR booking?

It is important to book your seat on the train for multiple reasons, including:

  • SGR tickets often sell out. It is important to book your seat early enough to avoid postponing your journey. 
  • Standard gauge railway is a more environmentally friendly option than other forms of travel like road and air. 
  • SGR train tickets cost considerably less than flights.
  • SGR travel lets the passengers view the stunning natural scenery of Central to Coastal Kenya. 

Types of SGR Trains

It is important to know the type of SGR trains before you book your ticket. There are two types of SGR trains:

Inter-County Train

The inter-county train makes two trips a day at different times from Nairobi to Mombasa. It makes stops in various counties, thus the name ‘Inter-county train.’ The inter-county train stations include Mariakani, Maisenyi, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emaili, and Athi River. 

Express Train

The SGR Express train makes express trips from Nairobi to Mombasa. It doesn’t make any stops in the countries it crosses. The express train takes a slightly shorter time (45 minutes) than the inter-county train.

2021 Nairobi to Mombasa SGR Timetable

The travel timetable for SGR trains stays the same all year, and the train goes in both directions every week. 

Nairobi to Mombasa

Here is the schedule of SGR trains from Nairobi to Mombasa depending on the type of train to help you make bookings:

Express Train3.00 p.m8.15 p.m.
Inter-county train8. 00 a.m. 2.00 p.m.

Mombasa to Nairobi

Here is the SGR train schedule from Mombasa to Nairobi.

Express Train3.00 p.m8.15 p.m.
Inter-county train8. 00 a.m. 2.15 p.m.

Nairobi to Mombasa SGR Booking Cost 2021

The cost of SGR bookings is constant on both the express and inter-county trains. Note that you can only buy a one-way SGR ticket. You book the return ticket separately. Here is the price list for SGR tickets:

Ticket Type1st Class2nd Class
Children under three years oldFreeFree
Children 3 to 11 years oldKshs 1,500Kshs 500
Adult single-ticketKshs 3,000Kshs 1,000

Currently, you can only pay for SGR tickets via M-PESA. You cannot pay for SGR bookings with cash.  

How to make your SGR booking

You can make SGR bookings online and offline. For the offline method, you can either call customer care or run the USSD option. 

How to make your SGR booking online

You can make SGR bookings online through the Kenya Railways website. Here is the process to go about it:

  1. On your browser, visit the Kenya Railways website and click on “Book a Train.”
sgr booking
  1. Choose the type of train you want (Express or inter-county), the departure station, the destination station, departure date, and click “Book a Train.” You can book up to 30 days before the departure date.
sgr booking
  1. Enter the number of travelers for each category (adults and children) and the coach type (first class or economy class). Click “Book a Train” again. The page also shows you the number of seats available. 
sgr booking
  1. Add your booking information and payment details. Click on “Proceed to Payment.” The booking information includes your full name, national ID or Passport Number, gender, and nationality. Your payment information includes your M-Pesa Mobile Number and email address. You can see the total charge on the right side of the screen. 
  1. Pay for the ticket. Once you click to proceed to payment, the M-Pesa can bring up a pop-up that prompts you to enter the pin and finish the transaction at that time. You get a confirmation message which you use to print your SGR ticket. Depending on the SGR schedule, you can choose to pay later using the Paybill number. 

How to pay for SGR bookings using M-Pesa Paybill 

You can only pay for SGR bookings using M-Pesa. It is one of the best payment gateways in East Africa and Africa. 

  1. Go to the Safaricom Menu on your Sim Toolkit app or Safaricom App and open the Mpesa Menu. 
  2. Select the Lipa na M-Pesa option.
  3. Choose Paybill.
  4. Enter the SGR Paybill number, which is 809888.
  5. Input the account number, which is your ticket number, from the Kenya Railways website. 
  6. Enter the appropriate ticket fees and select confirm. 
  7. Wait for a confirmation message from Safaricom. 
  8. Get your SGR booking number and ticket from Madaraka Express via SMS. 

How to make SGR bookings offline

You can also book your SGR ticket without internet access. They have a USSD code you can run, or you can simply call the customer care service to book your ticket. Here is how to make SGR bookings without web access:

How to make SGR bookings using USSD on your phone

The following steps will guide you when making SGR bookings using USSD code on your phone:

  1. On your phone, dial *639#.
  2. Select the first option: Booking a ticket.
  3. Provide the necessary information that comes on-screen, including your stations, travel dates, type of coach, and the number of tickets. 
  4. Enter your details, including your name and ID number. You’ll also need to provide these details when collecting your ticket. 
  5. Select the payment option and make the payment.

How to make SGR bookings via call

You can also make a phone call to book your SGR tickets. It also helps to know these contacts in case you encounter any issues. Here is how to make SGR bookings via phone call:

  1. Call either of these numbers: 0709 388 888/ 0728 603 581/ 0728 603 582/ 0708 572 574/ 0708 571 587.
  2. Give the representative your travel details, including station, dates, cabin choice, and phone number. 
  3. The representative lets you know the total ticket fees. 
  4. They send you an SMS that includes the Paybill number, payment ID, and total amount. 
  5. Pay the fees using M-Pesa. 
  6. Wait for your ticket details on SMS. 
  7. Arrive early at the station on the travel date to print out your tickets.

How to make SGR bookings without an M-Pesa number

Some people do not have an M-Pesa number. This is common among our country tourists especially. However, you can get your SGR ticket using either of the following methods:

  1. Ask a friend to book it for you.
  2. Request your travel agent to make the bookings.
  3. Ask your hotel or guesthouse to help you book. 

How to print your SGR ticket

Once you book your seat, you need to know how you can print your ticket. You can print your ticket at the railway station on the self-service machines or from the staff at Ticket Issue Hall. Afterwards, go to the waiting hall upstairs once you have your ticket. The tickets have barcodes that are scanned as you board the train 30 minutes before departure.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Can I carry food and drinks on the SGR train?

No food and drinks are allowed inside the SGR train. You can purchase food and drinks from the food carriage at the back of the train starting at Kshs 100. Some of the items available include alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, boiled sweet potatoes, sandwiches, crisps, nuts, chocolate bars, and pastries. 

2. Is there an app for SGR bookings?

There is no app for SGR bookings. Therefore, any app that offers these services is probably fake. You can only make SGR bookings on their website or via USS *639#. 

3. Can I charge my phone on the SGR train?

You can only charge your devices such as laptops or phones in the first-class cabin. Therefore, it is possible to work online because there is Wi-Fi connectivity in all cabins. However, only first-class cabins have TVs. 

Conclusion

The standard gauge railway (SGR) has made the journey from Nairobi to Mombasa and back easier. You can easily book a ticket from your phone using USSD code *639# or their website. Let us know in the comments if we have missed anything you would like to know.