Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) will assume control of ticketing, security and fueling operations of the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) from Chinese firm Africa Star Railways (Afristar).

The state agency announced that the takeover will be concluded by May 2022.

Afristar had been contracted by KRC in 2017 to manage and maintain the SGR. Afristar is a subsidiary company of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

File image of a Standard Gauge Railways train. |Photo| Courtesy|

The Chinese firm during the contractual period was mandated with managing passenger ticketing and revenue collection. KRC was responsible for marketing the SGR but excluded from revenue collection.

The move by KRC comes after Afristar's 2020 reign over the SGR was clustered by scandals. The operator was often accused of running unchecked operations. A scheme in which train cabins would be artificially checked off as fully booked.

This resulted in the Mombasa Nairobi train service always appearing packed. The scheme elicited excitement from Kenyans who warmed up the thrill of riding the trains. As a result, agents sold the tickets to 'desperate' passengers at high rates.