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The Home of the Lunatic Express #Nairobi Railway Museum


The Home of the Lunatic Express #Nairobi Railway Museum


The British constructed the Kenya-Uganda railway while the Germans constructed the Tanzania railway however during the world war II the British defeated the Germans and took over Tanzania as their territory from the Germans so they continued with the construction of the Tanzania railway and this gave birth to “East Africa railway”. The reason behind the construction of the Kenya-Uganda railway was to facilitate the transport of goods from the ocean, since Uganda is a land locked country the railway could pass through Kenya and thus the name “Kenya-Uganda railway”.

The first ever stone building in Nairobi.









The railway was constructed in Mombasa in 1896 and passed through Voi in 1897. The  constructors faced some challenges  for instance a majority were killed by the man eater lions  since they could not run as fast as wild animals like gazelles, they were an easy target for lions to prey on and  some of them were killed by malaria.


When the British tasted the   Nairobi waters they noticed that it was cool and far much better than the Mombasa waters which was salty. They also enjoyed the cool Nairobi weather and thus they made it a capital city. Nairobi Railway Station was opened in 1899, it’s located within Nairobi city and it’s on Uganda Railway. This was the first stone building in Nairobi in 1904. It was a Catholic Church that is the present day’s The Holy Family Minor Basilica

The machine itself

The lunatic herself











The railway reached Kisumu in 1901. The British introduced marine technology and thus they initiated a harbour by the name R.M.S VICTORIA.


Kirinyaga means an ostrich. In 1930 the railway was able to pass through Nanyuki. It was difficult for the English men to pronounce the word kirinyaga and so they ended up calling it Kenya. They also saw the beautiful mountain which they named Mt.Kenya.


The Great Rift Valley

Well, the railway got to the rift valley late because of the challenges the British   faced like hostility from these communities. The collaboration of some leaders like Oloibon with the British convinced some communities to allow the British to construct the railway.








This railway used to provide service to Mombasa at least three times a week though the coming to birth of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in the year 2017 has taken over the provision of its  services to Mombasa. The new Nairobi station is about 20km from the central business district to Syokimau.


The Museum.

Nairobi Railway Museum came into existence in 1970 when the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation came together to preserve and display the history of rail travel in East Africa for the future generations. The Museum is connected to the main line by rail therefore it allows steam excursions on restored locomotives.

National Railway Museum3

1)The exhibition room

Two brass and stamps used with metal wax to seal envelopes












Queens porcelain(cups and plates)











Queens”s chairs

Permanent way inspector’s bicycle

African elephant statue. There is no clear records about the origins of this statnette

Kenya-Uganda railway water filter used to remove impurities from the water

Wheeled trolley- was used on the streets of Mombasa

Engine seat. allowed travelers to view east africas scenery and wildlife. it was once used by americas presdident theodore roosevelt and the prince of wales

Special train stops

Railway bolts

Locomotive head lamps

Locomotive jacks

Other metals

Ancient grindstone

Steam driven compressed air break pump

19th century iron paper weights

Wooden railway sleepers

Kenya railway model

East Africa railway model

East Africa railway model

Kenya Uganda railway enamel wash basin

Jugs used by passengers

Jugs used by passengers


2)Communications room

Machines (green, red and the blue)

They are still in use(blue machine)

Bells- they used to be rang after every 5 minutes

The token bags(the metal one was invented first, followed by the leather one and finally the wooden one)


Brass table lamps of Kenya

Oil lamps

Manual calculator machine

Manual type writer

Tortoise calculator

Side board- this was used by the captains

Fire fighting equipments that entered voi in 1914

Ships steering wheel





The grant



R.M.S Victoria

The clement hill


3) Standard gauge railway(SGR room) to be continued……


Visiting hours

Open daily during weekends and public holidays from 8 am to 5 pm



Category Entry fee (per person)
Non-Resident  Ksh.600($10)
Resident  Ksh.500($8)
Non-Resident student  Ksh.300($5)
Resident student  Ksh.200($3)
Non-Resident child  Ksh.100($2)
Citizen adult  Ksh.200
Citizen student/pupil  Ksh.100
Research fee  Ksh.1,000


Cell:+254 721 268741, +254 720 049975, +254 724 380975


P.O. Box 30121 – 00100



Why the name lunatic?

2493 of contract worker died in the process

4 workers died for each mile at average of 38

I love what is saw those spectacular machines are rare to see in this century # indeed old  is  gold.

Beyond the Trails Globo#Travel far and wide# Travelling and Photography for conservation!

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Travelling and photography for conservation!. Beyond the trails globo is a travel /photography blog that is going to contain a lot of my travel adventures,eye catching photos of the wonders of nature,it will include tips to travellers,advice reviews and hopefully interviews with various travelling agencies and tourism boards. The main objective of this blog is to promote conservation of flora and fauna through travel and photography” travelling for conservation and simply because photography is a love affair with life...oops am lost in love with nature”.



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