Social Media Reacts To Kenya’s First Female Train Drivers
The SGR launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta is underway in Miritini as the Kenyan leader gets ready to take the train’s maiden journey.
He will be joined by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, diplomats and other Kenyans from all walks of life including pupils from 47 schools representing an equal number of counties.
The 47 pupils, all under 18 years, were picked by their respective school communities and grouped under PURES (Pupils Reward Scheme) – a mentorship programme under the Presidency. They were selected on the criteria of talent, leadership, and performance.
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This, however, is not what has the online community buzzing. It is the pictures of the train’s first female drivers who were elegantly dressed in their navy blue suits, white shirts and red neck ties. They posed for pictures beside the train and in the cockpit with their Chinese trainers. The Standard Gauge Railway Project Kenya’s Facebook page who shared the photos captioned it: “Kenya’s first female train drivers to debut on Standard Gauge Railway”.
The Photos have since gone viral on Facebook with users applauding the Jubilee government empowerment of women by giving them bigger roles.
SGR Launch – Functioning, Route and Cost
Three passenger trains will run daily between Nairobi and Mombasa as the State pushes to make it economically viable and competitive against buses plying the Nairobi-Mombasa route.
Two of the trains, one from Mombasa and the other from Nairobi, will run a daily express service between the two cities. The third train will be an inter-county one that will make stops subject to passenger availability at the stations along the line. There are seven main stations on the line and more than 30 smaller ones which the Government says will benefit local residents.
The tickets will be electronic, enabling the personnel running the inter-county train to schedule the stops. Transport Principal Secretary Paul Mwangi said:
“The three trains will run daily for the first three years but if there is a need to add others, we will do so according to capacity. As the urban centers along the SGR grow, then the hinterlands around them will get a ripple effect.”
Tickets from Mombasa to Nairobi will cost Sh900 for economy class as compared to Sh1,200 charged by buses on the same route. The price is also five times lower than the Sh4,500 proposed in a feasibility study.