By bus, the
journey normally takes sometimes more than double the time and
it makes children extremely tired.
"As they travel, I normally show them the wild animals I spot
along the way like giraffes, making the trip more of a
sightseeing tour," he said.
Journalist Paul Maundu who works in Kibwezi in Makueni County
noted that the inter-county service has enabled him to regularly
bring his children to Nairobi to see the city.
"It is a 40 minutes’ journey and one is comfortable
throughout the journey.
"Three months do not end without me taking my three children
to Nairobi," he said.
The trip to Nairobi on train has become one of the incentives
he uses to make his children perform well in school.
"The eldest is in class five, the second born in class four
and the last born in class one.
"I tell them that they all have to perform well so that they
can travel as a group.
"If one fails, we don’t take the trip," he explained, noting
that he would not make such trips by bus.
The fare of the service is also affordable, with Madaraka
Express passenger service economy class fares being 10 U.S.
According to the Kenya Railways Corporation, children below
three years travel for free while those aged between three and
11 years pay half fare for both first and economy class.
Those aged over 11 years pay full fare.
Amos Mureithi, a businessman and frequent traveler to Mombasa
using the standard gauge railway train, noted that one thing
that stands out for him is the high number of children in the
"I don’t see it in buses or even the plane.
"This means the train filled a gap that had stayed open for
years," he said, adding that the free or half-fare payment for
children below 11 years is another motivator for parents.