KRC will initially offer one round trip per week, with the frequency increasing in line with demand. The Nairobi - Nanyuki service operates on Fridays, and the Nanyuki - Nairobi service runs on Sundays. Each train will have a capacity for 1600 passengers.
End-to-end journeys will take around six hours, with both services departing at 08.00 and arriving at 14.00.
Tickets will start at Shillings 200 ($US 1.79) for an end-to-end journey in second-class, and between Shillings 50 and 100 for journeys between intermediate stations.
The launch follows a successful test run on July 7 between Thika, north of Nairobi, and Nanyuki. Freight services on the line were reintroduced in August, and transport goods such as fuel, fertiliser, and crops.
The rehabilitated line is expected to significantly improve transport links and stimulate regional economic growth along the route, including tourism.
The Shillings 3bn rehabilitation of the Nairobi - Nanyaki line was carried out over six months, and was executed in three sections:
- Thika - Maragua (47.6km)
- Maragua - Karatina (54.2km), and
- Karatina - Nanyuki (75.4km).
The work included site clearance of the entire corridor and the removal of encroachments, the rehabilitation of infrastructure and rolling stock, and the leasing of locomotives, as well as the construction of an extension to the Vivo energy depot in Nanyuki and a new station at Chaka.
KRC contributed Shillings 1.2bn to the project, with the remaining Shillings 1.8bn provided by the state-owned Kenya Pipeline Corporation.