NAIROBI, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) express train, which has been operational for a month now, has transported approximately 75,000 passengers, officials said on Friday.
Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina said the trained dubbed, Madaraka Express, is currently operating with scheduled passenger trains from Nairobi and Mombasa running on a daily basis.
"The huge numbers we are seeing daily are a confirmation of the need Kenyans have for an effective transport system. We are receiving a lot of feedback, and have deployed teams to address customer care and operational concerns that keep emerging," Maina said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
"We anticipate that by this slight extension, we shall address any impending issues, and streamline all service areas to ensure a seamless experience for all our passengers plying the nine key locations," he added.
Two trains have been operating daily from both directions offering a four and a half hour non-stop connection between the two cities.
The 480-km railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi is Kenya's single largest infrastructure project since independence.
It was constructed at a cost of 3.6 billion U.S. dollars, co-financed through commercial and semi-concessional loans from China and input by the Kenyan government.
Maina said passenger numbers on the service are surging daily and the operator has increased the capacity of the train through introduction of additional coaches on both the trains plying between Mombasa and Nairobi daily.
"The capacity of the train has also been increased through the introduction of one more coach each, so that each train is carrying approximately 1,500 passengers per train," he said.
Maina said cargo operations have also commenced albeit on a trial basis as the handover process is undertaken, in order to be ready for the launch of freight operations later in the year.