How to Book SGR Train (Madaraka Express) Online

How to Book SGR Train (Madaraka Express) Online

The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has made it very efficient and economical for Kenyans and tourists to travel between Nairobi and Mombasa in half the time compared to using buses. Moreover, the fares of the Madaraka Express SGR train rarely change with the seasons, unlike buses, which hike fares, especially during Christmas and New Year holidays. You can effortlessly book your SGR train ticket online or through the USSD code and pay by M-Pesa without leaving your seat.

When you travel on the Madaraka Express SGR train, you not only enjoy the comfort it provides, but you also appreciate the breathtaking landscapes and nature of Tsavo National Park as the train crisscrosses through the countryside.

In this article, I will show you how to book your SGR train ticket and pay for the e-ticket via M-Pesa pay bill.

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Madaraka Express Fare

The Kenya Railways has adjusted the Madaraka Express SGR train fares effective January 2024. The current fares have been adjusted upward by 50%. For instance, you will now pay Ksh. 1,500 to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa, upward from Ksh. 1,000. Children between 3 to 11 years will pay half of this cost.

The chart below shows the new SGR fares between the various stations.

How to Book SGR Train (Madaraka Express) Online

How to Book SGR Train Online

You can book your SGR ticket through the Safaricom USSD code *639# or through the e-ticketing portal. You can also buy tickets over the counter at the respective departing station or by calling the Madaraka Express train booking number 0709 388888.

The steps for booking an SGR ticket online can be summarized below:

  1. Visit the SGR online ticketing portal
  2. Select departure and destination details
  3. Choose class and number of persons travelling
  4. Enter booking information
  5. Confirm trip summary
  6. Pay for the ticket
  7. Receive your SGR e-ticket

Follow the steps below to book and pay for Madaraka Express online ticket:

1. Visit the SGR online ticketing portal

Kenya Railway’s online booking portal is very easy to use. All you have to do is to open your favourite web browser and enter this address “”, without quotes. You can alternatively go to and search for “book sgr online”

2. Select departure and destination details

Once on the portal, fill in the forms at the top by selecting the train type as Express, for Madaraka Express. Also, select the station you want to board from, and then your destination station. Finally, choose your departure date and time and click on Book Train.

Choose departure and arrival details.

3. Choose the class and number of persons traveling

On the next page, the train number, the number of seats available per class and ticket fares are displayed. Your departure and arrival times are also displayed under the fares chart. You can modify your initial details by clicking on the plus (+) at the top of the page.

The next step is to choose the couch type and enter the total number of people travelling and then click Book a Train. Take note of the age of kids travelling with you, if any. Children between 3 and 11 years only pay half the ticket price while those below 3 years will board free.

Select total number of people travelling, adults and children.

4. Enter SGR online booking information

Enter personal details of persons travelling. These include full names, age, gender, nationality and identification. Names should match those on ID or passport. Also take note that each adult above 18 years must provide own ID or passport.

Enter full names, ages and identification details.

Next, enter your M-Pesa number, under payment details, and then click Proceed to payment.

5. Confirm trip summary

On the next page, confirm the booking details. Check that your travel date, departure and arrival, train class, arrival terminus and passenger names are okay.

Next, agree to the terms and conditions and check in the box “I’m not a robot”. You can choose to Pay Now or Pay Later by clicking on the appropriate button.

Pay for the SGR ticket

A Lipa na M-Pesa payment prompt will be sent to the M-Pesa number you provided. Confirm the amount indicated on your phone, enter your M-Pesa PIN and send to complete the payment.

If the payment fails, you will be given an alternative method of payment through the SGR Madaraka Express M-Pesa paybill number 809888. Follow through with the payment instructions and then click Confirm Payment.

Receive your SGR e-ticket

After a successful payment, your e-ticket details will be sent to you. Keep these details and remember to carry your original identification don’t the travel date.

Useful Information When Boarding Madaraka Express

  • Arrive 1 hour before the departure time indicated on the ticket.
  • Carry original identification documents during travel.
  • Ticket cancellation and rescheduling must be done 48 hours before the travel time booked.
  • Cancellations and rescheduling are done over the counter at the nearest Madaraka Express Passenger Service station. Carry your original ID and a copy.
  • Tickets are not transferable.
  • Only pay from your M-Pesa account. Bank transactions will not be successful.
  • Alcoholic drinks are not allowed into the station and onboard the trains.
  • Sprays with an inflammable sign, sharp objects and pets are strictly prohibited.
  • Group bookings of over 20 passengers must be made 9 days to the travel date.
  • The USSD option is available 24/7 and allows you to book up to 10 persons per transaction
  • You can book up to 60 days ahead of the travel date.
  • The weight of your luggage should not exceed 30kg and not measure more than 1.6 metres in height, width, and length.

1. Understanding SGR Ticket Confirmation

1.1 What is SGR Ticket Confirmation?

SGR ticket confirmation refers to verifying your ticket's validity and ensuring your seat on the train. Once you book your ticket, you will receive a confirmation email or SMS containing essential details such as the travel date, train number, and seat number.

1.2 Importance of SGR Ticket Confirmation

Confirming your SGR ticket is vital to guarantee your seat on the train. You may encounter difficulties boarding or being assigned a different seat without confirmation. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can avoid unnecessary hassles and enjoy a stress-free journey.

2. How to Confirm Your SGR Ticket

Two convenient methods for confirming your SGR ticket are checking your booking status online and printing your ticket.

2.1 Checking Your Booking Status Online

To check your booking status online, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the official SGR website or app.
  2. Navigate to the booking status section.
  3. Enter your booking details, including origin, destination, travel date, train type, preferred class, and seat(s).
  4. Submit the information and wait for the system to retrieve your booking status.
  5. Review the results to confirm your seat assignment and other details.

2.2 Printing Your Ticket

Printing your SGR ticket provides a tangible confirmation document for your journey. Here's how to print your ticket:

  1. After successfully booking your ticket online, you will receive an SMS confirmation with a unique code.
  2. Retain this SMS message; you will need the e-ticket confirmation code to print your ticket.
  3. At the train station, locate the self-service ticketing machines available at the ticketing offices.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to print your ticket using the e-ticket confirmation code received via SMS.
  5. Once printed, keep your ticket secure until your travel date.

Troubleshooting SGR Ticket Confirmation

Encountering difficulties during the ticket confirmation process is not uncommon. If you face any challenges, follow these steps for assistance:

  1. Seek Help from Passenger Stewards: If you experience problems while printing your ticket, approach the Passenger Stewards stationed at the ticketing office. They will provide the necessary support and guidance to ensure a successful ticket confirmation.
  2. Contact Customer Care: If you cannot be physically present at an SGR office, contact the customer care team. Use the following contact details to communicate your concerns:
  • SGR Customer Care Number: 0709 388 887 / 0709 388 888 / 0709 907 000
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Postal Address: P.O Box 3012-Nairobi, 00100, Kenya

Tips for Avoiding Ticket Confirmation Problems for SGR

The SGR is a great way to travel between Nairobi and Mombasa, but it can be frustrating if you need help confirming your ticket. Here are some tips to help you avoid ticket confirmation problems:

  1. Book your ticket early. The earlier you book your ticket, the more likely you will avoid problems. If you wait until the last minute, you may find that all the tickets are sold out, or there are technical problems with the website or app.
  2. Check your booking status regularly. Once you have booked your ticket, check your booking status regularly. This will help you ensure that your ticket has been confirmed and that there are no problems with your payment.
  3. Print your ticket as soon as possible. Once your ticket has been confirmed, print it out immediately. This will help to avoid problems if there are any technical problems with the website or app.
  4. Bring your ticket with you to the station. When you arrive at the station, bring your ticket with you. This will help ensure that you can board the train without any problems.

How to Change or Cancel Your SGR Ticket

If you need to change or cancel your SGR ticket, you can do so by following these steps:

To change your ticket:

  1. Visit the SGR website or app and log in to your account.
  2. Click on the "My Tickets" tab.
  3. Select the ticket you want to change and click the "Change" button.
  4. Enter the new travel details and click on the "Submit" button.

To cancel your ticket:

  1. Visit the SGR website or app and log in to your account.
  2. Click on the "My Tickets" tab.
  3. Select the ticket you want to cancel and click the "Cancel" button.
  4. Enter your reason for cancellation and click on the "Submit" button.

Cancellation and refund policies:

  • Tickets can be canceled up to 48 hours before the departure time for individual travel and 72 hours before the departure time for group travel.
  • There is a 30% cancellation fee for individual tickets and a 50% for group tickets.
  • Refunds will be processed within 30 working days of cancellation.


Confirming your SGR ticket is crucial to securing your seat on Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily confirm your ticket online or print it at the station. Remember to retain your e-ticket confirmation code and contact customer care or seek assistance from Passenger Stewards if you encounter any issues. Enjoy a smooth and comfortable journey on the SGR!


What is the difference between a booking confirmation and a ticket confirmation?

A booking confirmation is received after you book your ticket and contains your travel details. However, it does not guarantee a seat. Ticket confirmation is a document with a barcode that confirms your seat and is required for boarding.

How long does it take to receive a ticket confirmation?

Ticket confirmations are typically received within minutes. However, it may take longer during peak times due to system congestion.

What should I do if I lose my ticket confirmation?

If you need to place your ticket confirmation, contact the SGR customer service line for assistance reprinting your ticket.

Can I check my SGR ticket status through SMS?

There is no specific procedure to check your SGR ticket status through SMS. Please use the online methods mentioned in this guide for ticket confirmation.

What if I experience delays in receiving the ticket confirmation message?

If you encounter delays in receiving the ticket confirmation message, you can still print your ticket using the M-Pesa transaction message as proof of payment. Provide your mobile and account numbers to retrieve your ticket at the station.

Can I change my seat after confirming my SGR ticket?

Changing your seat is generally impossible once your ticket is confirmed and you have a seat assigned. However, contact the SGR customer care team for further assistance with specific inquiries or exceptional circumstances.

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