President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto address journalists aboard the Madaraka Express on May 31, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTEPresident Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto address journalists aboard the Madaraka Express on May 31, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
By HILARY KIMUYU

President Uhuru Kenyatta was on Wednesday guarded by seven choppers on air from Mombasa to Nairobi during his seven-hour ride on the Madaraka Express train.

Besides the choppers, the president was followed by a fleet of chase cars on road that followed the train in the inaugural ride.

The air security was drawn from the Kenya Army, Kenya Navy, Kenya Police, Administration Police, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenyan Prisons and Kenya Forest Service.

There was also heavy deployment of armed security personnel on foot in the six termini along the route.

The seven helicopters were eventually seen flying over Syokimau station as the passenger train snaked its way to its destination.

FREE RIDE

The journey saw close to 1, 300 people travel to Nairobi from Coast for free. They were also treated to free food and drinks.

The number of passengers on board exceeded the train’s 1, 200 limit.

At the launch of the train services, President Kenyatta ordered for the reduction of fares for passengers using the new railway.
The president fixed the fare for economy class at Sh700 for passengers travelling from Nairobi to Mombasa. The fares for first class will however remain at Sh3,000.