The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has been forced to enhance capacity for the Madaraka Express Passenger Service to meet demand.
To increase the capacity between Nairobi and Mombasa, the KRC on Sunday said it had increased the number of coaches for the next three days.
“Over the past few days, we have experienced an unprecedented surge in demand for the Madaraka Express Passenger Service,” it said.
We have therefore increased the number of coaches on the trains plying this route, effective this afternoon, to and from Nairobi,” read the statement in part.
Data from Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) shows that SGR carried 209,084 passengers between Nairobi and Mombasa in September compared to October’s 189,553 headcounts.
In quarter one ending March, a total of 518,780 passengers used SGR. This increased to 603,157 in the second quarter when SGR witnessed a revenue rise.
In the third quarter, the number of passengers hit 615,760.
Kenya Airways Pilots Extend Strike
The surge is due to Kenya Airways pilots extending their strike on Sunday and warning of “major flight disruptions,” forcing fresh cancellations of flights.
“Kenya Railways will continue to do the utmost best to offer a solution under the prevailing circumstances.”
Thousands of passengers were stranded as a result of the strike by the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA).
The airline said 56 flights were cancelled on Sunday, with 12,000 passengers’ travel disrupted.
“Since the strike took effect, we have not carried any fresh produce to the Middle East and Europe. On average, we carry about 15 tonnes of fresh produce,” Allan Kilavuka, group managing Director and CEO Kenya Airways said.
“We have also not brought goods into the country, mainly pharmaceuticals…This has also greatly impacted intra-Africa trade.”
“We are at a stalemate. Therefore, they (KALPA) are holding passengers, other employees, management and the economy at ransom. We reiterate that negotiations require good faith and compromise.”