How to Book and Pay for a Madaraka Express Ticket on Your Phone

Nairobi Terminus SGR
Image Courtesy

One of the most disappointing parts of the SGR train experience, was the fact that at launch, one could only get the tickets by physically going to the new train stations, which left hundreds of people stranded after they planned their trips only to find the trains fully booked.

Answering to the plight of Kenyans, Kenya Railways finally added the option to pay for a ticket via mobile money (ok, M-Pesa since that is the only one working at the moment).

The process is, well, how do I put this nicely, so 1997. It involves making a call to customer care (we all know how wonderful that it), long numbers to input and a lot of ways to make errors.

Here’s the process:

  • Call customer care on 0709 388 888 (between 7am and 4pm)
  • Provide your travel dates, cabin choice (VIP or economy) and phone number to the customer care representative
  • You will be informed of the amount you are to pay by the customer care representative
  • You then receive an sms with the pay bill number, payment ID and amount to be paid
  • You will then be required to pay the full amount via Lipa Na M-Pesa Pay Bill option
  • You will receive your ticket details via SMS
  • On the travel day, kindly arrive at the station early enough to allow you time to print your boarding pass at the self-service machines at the station

Yup, not exactly the easiest way to get a ticket but at least you will not have to gamble like you did before.

Kenya Railways have also launched an online booking platform that we’re not so sure works but here’s a system that works, booking and paying for your Madaraka Express train via USSD:

Read: How to Book Madaraka Express Train Tickets Via USSD

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  1. I my name is Esther enquiring how much can somebody pay when he/she is alighting at Mtito Andei, and how can I book online

    • Hi Esther. Kenya Railways charges Ksh.360 from Nairobi to Mtito Andei.
      The online booking platform is not ready yet, therefore, the best alternative you have is to use the M-Pesa method.

  2. Aiii sgr jameni,I hv been calling 0709388888 since 3pm today.The line was either engaged or call was being ended or it was just ringing until it ends itself.
    My first time to contact sgr and I have to say this TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT.Im just one of the many disappointed lot.
    Why should the goverment put so much money in a project which has poorly trained
    personnel or unhelpful personnel.Government staff can score 8 out of 10 while sgr staff score 3out of 10.Why 1 line only for reservations,poor service renders no revenue and eventually another white elephant will be added to the long list of previous ones.
    Many telephone nos that were printed in the local dailies during the launch either go unanswered or when the phone is finally answered,It is answered by a person who gives the response of wrong number or after insisting you they admit to be kenya railway staff.My question is,why would staffers sabotage the company that put bread on their tables and if there is anyway the company can improve the very poor telephone service.
    The scramble for the train could be prevalent because of the reasonable prices but if an increment was to be endorsed,coupled by this very poor service,Sgr might not be able to enjoy the influx of customers its enjoying presently.
    Work on the phones which is 1st step a customer takes to contact Sgr and the rest will fall in its place.
    Why Im writing thus?Im a patriotic kenyan who does not want to see another mega project fail because of some few lazy unpatriotic chaps who just sit in the offices waiting for end month pay check.

  3. I want a VIP reservation through phone but customer care number is not going through!, help. Want to travel tomorrow. Treat with urgency

    • Hi Mike. Unfortunately there is nothing that we can do. If you fail to get through with the phone number, consider visiting the train station beffore they close.

  4. Worst customer care agents!!! Employ me and I’ll show you what customer service is!!! Just spoke to a very rude woman and she has the audacity to ask me sasa unataka nikusaidie aje and shouts at me!! There are people who need jobs kama hataki atoke!!

    • How do I change the ticket that I had earlier booked so that another person can use it ‘cos I’m not travelling and I don’t want the ticket to be wasted?

  5. My employer has booked me to and fro but I want to remain a bit to some personal things after I’m through with the official work. Can I change my travel back date and with how many days? We will be going down as a group but I want to remain and travel back later alone.

  6. If I’m wishing kubook the ticket from Us kabla nitaenda, how do I do that? I hear you must book 13 or so days in advance.

  7. Hey,,,My name is Timothy will be travelling on 9th for three days to Msa can i leave my car at the railway station? If yes, How much do i pay?

  8. hello i’m Violet booked sgr ticket yesterday at 7.15pm via mpesa MAB76FP9XT ksh.1400
    and have not received the tickets for two passengers please help travelling on monday

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