U-turns continue at #KenyaRailways


(Posted 28th December 2017)

(Also under criticism is the claim of ‘Connecting Nations’ while the
SGR operation only links the two cities of Nairobi and Mombasa)

True to the form shown since the launch of operations of the new Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) trains has Kenya Railways done another U-turn over a notice published last week and now hastily withdrawn again.
Suggestions have made the round on Kenya’s outspoken social media scene that the organization should engage their brains before speaking out, or as in this case publishing notices which, as in the past, then often are withdrawn in a matter of days.
The initial notice spoke of a re-scheduling of the trains early in the new year leading to a supposed suspension of booking services but KR in their turnabout has now clarified that bookings continue within the 14 day booking window.
That timeframe has been described as woefully inadequate, given available booking platforms with appropriate technology and in particular tour companies, which often plan itineraries a year or longer ahead – and book accommodation and flights for their clients at that time – are complaining that any tour involving the use of the trains is a massive gamble should they not be able to secure seats which can presently only be booked inside two weeks to travel.
These guys at Kenya Railways need a crash course on available technology and booking platforms. What they do is almost like in the travel stone age. Airlines and hotels in Kenya can be booked, paid for and ticketed a year in advance or in the case of hotels part or full payments be made without any problems. It is only Kenya Railways which moves outside these proven arrangements and this must be changed next year. For instance, it is still not known by now what timing changes they have in mind for their trains to and from Mombasa and as everyone on travel knows, this is very bad when it comes to scheduling transfers and all for local and international tourists when they have to leave their hotels for instance. Some may have tight connection in Nairobi to the airport so letting everyone hang and speculate is bad for business‘ ranted a regular contributor from Nairobi yesterday.
Kenya Railways’ management however have in the past turned a deaf ear to such complaints from the tourism industry. While the performance of the rail service, once on board, is impressive, is the booking and boarding a hurdle race for many, as narrated also by this correspondent in an article in October.