Barely a week after the reintroduction of rail services on the Nairobi-Kisumu route, Kenya Railways is witnessing an increased demand for tickets.
The train trip scheduled on Christmas Eve is sold out as well as the return trip scheduled for December 26.
The development comes as families travelling to celebrate the festive season with their kin opt for the rail.
Buoyed by the huge demand, Kenya Railways has introduced another trip on the route which will begin today from Nairobi.
The corporation announced that it has added another trip to the lakeside city. “Due to demand, we are introducing another ride to Kisumu on Tuesday December 21 to return on Wednesday, December 22,” KR said.
At the new Kisumu passenger terminus, passengers pitched tent at the ticketing offices to inquire and book seats. The Standard has established that all the planned trips in the two-way trip are fully booked until December 31. When this writer called the ticketing lines to inquire about available rides, Kenya Railway personnel confirmed that all trips have been fully booked. They described the return of the train as a blessing to the region and said it would help them cut on costs of travel.
Mr Luke Onyango, a passenger, said he wanted to book a trip for his family but all seats had been booked.
“I wanted to book the trip back to Nairobi on December 26, but I have been informed that the train is full,” he said. He hopes the corporation will add another ride and incorporate night travel in the rehabilitated line. With the demand, the corporation is exploring introducing another train to travel at night.
There are hopes the return of the train will have a ripple effect in the region and result in the revival of towns and market centres that had collapsed.
The return signals also better days for transport and logistics in a region that has always relied on trucks since the collapse of the railway.
Fort Tenan, Kibos, Miwani, Kibigori, Koru and Muhoroni towns that dot the line are among those expected to benefit from the return of the railway.