, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – Hundreds of train passengers were stranded in Mombasa overnight on Tuesday after a cargo train derailed at Taru, about 100 kilometres from the coastal city forcing suspension of rail services.
At least a 1,000 passengers commuting from Mombasa to Nairobi were forced to spend the night in the cold while others sought alternative means of transport.
The passengers had expected to board a passenger train that was to arrive in Mombasa from Nairobi at about 6pm on Tuesday evening before departing for Nairobi an hour later, at 7pm the same day.
The train could however not make it to Mombasa due to the derailed cargo train.
The passengers narrated their experience to Capital FM News at the Mombasa Railway station.
“I am from Norway travelling a bit in Africa…I am used to this kind of situation when it comes to transportation in Africa but we hope it will be well soon,” one of the commuters said.
For Edward Menza from Watamu, he arrived at the station at 5pm unaware of the hitch.
“We expected the train to arrive by 6pm and afterwards depart by 7pm,” he said.
Efforts by the train management to hire buses during the incident were in vain as they were not allowed to travel during the night because of the recent night ban by the government which has forced most people to use trains.
The Rift Valley Railways management deployed officers to restore normal operations and it was expected that the passenger train would leave for Nairobi on Wednesday evening.