After possibly the longest wait, Kenya Railways has started the new year at a high notch after the company quietly launched an online booking platform for the Madaraka Express Train service. The platform which was supposed to launch in August of 2017, was clouded by delays due to unknown reasons. To soften the frustrations, Kenya Railways launched a service that would allow Kenyans to book train tickets by calling 0709 388 888 (between 7am and 4pm) but this proved to bring more frustration than solve the problem.
Two months later, they launched a similar service, where Madaraka Express train users would have the option of booking for tickets via USSD which was better than nothing. Well, the long-awaited online booking platform is here and despite it missing some useful features like the ability to select your preferred seat and even print your ticket, it still does the most important part, get you space on the train on your preferred date of travel.
To purchase a ticket:
- Access https://metickets.krc.co.ke/
- Select the Train you want to travel with, Inter-County for the 8am train and Express for the 2.30pm train
- Select your departure and destination locations
- Select your preferred departure date
- Click “Book a Train”
The system will perform a search to see if there are any seats available for the selected time and date of travel, if there is, you will get to a page like this:
After which you can select the number of seats you want and the couch, First Class or Second Class. Next, you will input your details, including your name, ID/Passport number and Nationality.
As of now, the system only supports Payment via M-Pesa so ensure that you input the phone number that you will use to pay for the ticket via M-Pesa, or you can choose to Pay Later if you would rather pay for the ticket at a later time. If you choose to pay immediately, once you enter your phone number and click pay now, you will be prompted to enter your M-Pesa PIN on your mobile phone and the payment will be processed immediately thanks to the use of the new M-Pesa API.
Like I mentioned earlier, the online booking platform does not allow you to select your preferred seat, so keep the M-Pesa message safe as you will need the account number to print your ticket at the terminus on the day of travel, which means you should be there well over an hour before the set travel time.