Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Nairobi Railway Museum

Railway transport seems to be the future if the noise the electric rail in Ethiopia has created is anything to go by as railway transport is said to be efficient because it is not prone to delays that come with road travel as a result of traffic jams and is cheaper, yet us guys have a railway museum, yaani we have already gotten  ahead of the future and even archived it ☺☺.The construction of the Kenya-Uganda railway forms a big part of  Kenya's history- The man eaters of Tsavo anyone?? hoping this rings a bell, if not then you should definitely plan and go to the Nairobi Railway museum and you will learn/be reminded of the important role that the construction of the railway played in Kenya's history.

“It is not uncommon for a country to create a railway, but it is uncommon for a railway to create a country.”-Sir Charles Elliot,

When I first read this on one of the walls at the Railway Museum,I thought 'oh well,does it mean before the construction of the Railway there was no Kenya as a country',apparently there was no Kenya at-least not as we know it now.........................!!!!!!!!(alama ya duku duku na mshangao) because I was so defensive when I read this and spent time with Professor Google after to find out how true this is and she says 'Kuna ukweli kwa hiyo stori'.

One of the flagship projects of Kenya’s Vision 2030 is the standard gauge railway whose first phase is a railway that connects Nairobi to Mombasa in addition to reducing the amount of travel time and cost of travel hopefully the railway takes all those heavy tankers off the road and hence ensure roads are saved from damage and therefore no potholes and then the government will have an additional thing to brag about and most importantly to use to somehow justify the huge amounts spent on the construction of this new railway. Clearly we are not done with railways despite having a railway museum.

The Railway Museum is divided into three parts.

The Graffiti

A lot of the images I had seen before going to the railway museum were of the wall graffiti at the Railway Museum but you will surprised when you visit because I expected a lot of graffiti, but it’s just on the side fence as you get in,are they nice yes,but I think a lot of people sorely focus on them and make it seem that the railway museum is full of graffiti because I actually asked 'So where is the other graffiti?'

The Gallery

A bicycle that was used by the railway inspector,

A type-writer

A calculator

The plates and cups the Queen used when she took a train ride.
If history is your thing, then the gallery will make you really happy, there are pictures that explain the different stages of the construction of the railway and they even have this story of how a 25 year old Queen Elizabeth found about her father’s death when she was in Kenya and was made acting queen while she was in Kenya. Also on display are plates, cutlery and seats she used when she took a train ride,so how does a queen’s chair feel, you have to visit to find out :-)

The make-belief train station

Benches to sit on as you wait for 'your train.'

I honestly thought  the trains at the museum were built specifically for the museum in the same way people recreate stuff that are copies of the original to show you what the original looks like, but no, all the trains,train station benches,railway tracks and cabins are real and were once in use at-least this is what I found out although some looked too shiny to be artifacts.

A visit to the railway museum will take you down history lane to a time when trains had decks for passengers to see lions and other wildlife as they travel,the struggle that people under-went to construct it-a big number of the workers died :-( whilst constructing it and much more.If you love history then you should definitely visit, bonus point is you can actually recreate for yourself how an old train station felt like by sitting on the benches and then getting on a cabin to get a feel of how a train ride felt like despite the cabin not moving ha!