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Nairobi railway station

Nairobi railway stationNairobi railway station is a station on the old metre-gauge (narrow-gauge) railway line that used to provide services from Mombasa to the Ugandan border, via Nairobi. When this railway was built in 1896-1901, it was known as the Uganda Railway. The first Nairobi station building was created in 1899. It was pretty basic, and it would need to go through notable changes throughout the 20th century as the Nairobi stop received more and more traffic.

In 2017, a new standard-gauge railway (SGR) was inaugurated for travel between Mombasa and Nairobi. This railway uses another station for its Nairobi area stop; the Nairobi Terminus which was built specifically for this new line in Syokimau, roughly 20 km from Nairobi’s central business district.

The old Nairobi railway station is still used by the metre-gauge railway line connecting Nairobi with the Ugandan border, but the plan is to build a new SGR for that stretch too – if Kenya and China can agree on the terms and conditions for that deal. If they do come to an agreement and go through with the plan, the metre-gauge railway will probably be scrapped.

Short facts about the Nairobi railway station

Type Heavy rail / freight
Coordinates 1.291664°S 36.828619°E
Address Station Road

00200 Nairobi

City Nairobi
Opened 1899

The Museum

The Nairobi Railway Museum is adjacent to the Nairobi railway station.

The museum was established by the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation in 1971 to preserve and display the history of rail travel not just in Kenya but in the whole of East Africa.

Steam locomotives

Nairobi railway museumThree operational steam locomotives are kept here, but you need to book an appointment in advance to see them because they are normally covered up. The museum’s collection also contains early diesel locomotives and passenger coaches.

Rails run from the main railway and into the museum part, which makes it possible to take old restored steam locomotives out on excursions, e.g. to the metro Nairobi area or even all the way to Naivasha and Konza.

One of the old steam locomotives in this museum was used in the 1985 movie Out of Africa, the 7 Academy Award-winning drama film loosely based on Karen Blixen’s autobiographical book of the same name.

The Hugh F Marriott

The museum holds a W.G. Bagnall locomotive called Hugh F Marriott, which was built in Stafford, England, in 1951. Once upon a time, this engine operated a switcher at the Magadi Soda Company in south-western Kenya.

Miniature railway

Since 2011, the museum has had a working miniature railway.

List of exhibited locomotives

Operational locomotives

Railway Number Name Manufacturer Class Wheel


Kenya-Uganda Railway 2409 Vulcan Foundry EB3 4-8-0
East African Railways 3020 Nyaturu North British Tribal 2-8-4
East African Railways 5918 Mount Gelai Beyer-Peacock Mountain 4-8-2+2-8-4

Non-operational locomotives

Railway Number Name Manufacturer Class Wheel


Kenya-Uganda Railway 327 Vulcan Foundry ED1 2-6-2T
87 Karamoja Beyer-Peacock EC3 4-8-4+4-8-4
2401 Vulcan Foundry EB3 4-8-0
5505 Beyer-Peacock GB 4-8-2+2-8-4
393 Nasmyth Wilson EE 2-6-4T
Tanganyika Railway 301 Beyer Peacock DL 4-8-0
East African Railways 2921 Masai of Kenya North British Tribal 2-8-2
3123 Bavuma Vulcan Foundry Tribal 2-8-4
5930 Mount Shengena Beyer-Peacock Mountain 4-8-2+2-8-4
6006 Sir Harold MacMichael Société Franco-Belge Governor 4-8-2+2-8-4
Magadi Soda Company Hugh F Marriott W.G. Bagnall 0-4-0ST