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“Steam Locomotive Heaven” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Railway Museum

Railway Museum
Uhuru rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
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Ranked #20 of 43 Attractions in Nairobi
Type: Specialty museums, Museums
Attraction details
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Steam Locomotive Heaven”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This railway museum, hidden away in the back streets of downtown Nairobi is hard to find, but if you have a passion for steam engines it is a MUST. If you have a driver to take you there you can be dropped off at the entrance to the "booking hall". If not then it is a bit of a trudge along an unmade track off Haille Salassie main road. Look for the turn at the Post Office. Slumbering on the overgrown siding tracks are several locomotives, ranging from a small tender engine to huge Garret monsters specially designed to haul loads of freight for the East African Railway from the coast of Kenya to Uganda. The great pleasure here is that you can clamber over any of the engines, admiring the design and engineering, without let or hindrance. No health and safety warnings, no guides to admonish, just an opportunity to indulge your fantasy of being an engine driver.Be as quick or as long as you like, nobody will interfere, although you may find a sleeping member of staff in one of the 1st Class carriages on display! You will be greeted with friendly smile.
The exhibition of railway memorabilia requires close attention and a bit of hard work to get to grips with all that is on offer. But again you have time and freedom to wander, so it pays to look closely at what is on offer. My absolute favorite exhibit is of a marvellous throne like wooden contraption that was strapped to the front of an engine permitting those seated on it to have a totally unobstructed view of Kenya as the train traversed the landscape. There is a photograph of Edward Prince of Wales in 1928, enjoying this unique experience. NB at the Karen Blixen Museum there is a copy of the menu of the Dinner she served him during the same tour.
Cold drnks may be bought but there is no food served

Visited March 2013
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Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Nostalgic Rundown”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

I thought I'd pay this place a visit after hearing about it from a buddy. I took to the road hunting for seeing the road sign that will direct me there. It was quite a chance to see that sign because it is really hidden and with small fonts. It directs to a very small street that branches off a major road. Besides, Kenya Railways have done a fantastic job of keeping it away from the public since I have never heard it being advertised.

That said, I found a couple of two guys (employees of the museum) arguing over two pieces of oil paint, as to which is the better. That was on the craft section, where the pieces were good indeed but the prices not so. They guided me to the main entrance of the museum itself.

Bored was the look on the receptionist lady. I don't think I had the same look when many of my childhood memories were rekindled by my walk around the museum. The pieces are really antique and haphazardly organized, without sections. You will find crockery pieces put together with typewriters but all well.

I expected the trains to be at least kept clean and at least restored even though they don't move. The toilets looked like they had just been used and no one bothered to pick up after themselves. I expected a bare minimum of working doors and general cleanliness.

After an hour and a half of making myself happy, I went back to the receptionist with a few questions I had but she could not answer any satisfactorily. I bet they just picked someone who needed a job but did not care to learn something, anything, about her workplace.

What did I enjoy about my visit? The childhood memories. Having a chance to hop into the train drivers' seats. Having a chance to peep into a cabin that The Man-eaters of Tsavo hitched a ride on.

Other than that, Kenya Railways have let this place get really dilapidated. I hope they clean up the place and advertise it a bit more.

Visited February 2013
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at sea
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Trains what a hobby”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

this little museum is a jewel in the crown....lots of rolling stock including about 10 or so locomotives that were the backbone of Kenyan railroading only a few short years ago. The building houses many odd and fascinating pieces of railroading history..one could spend all day here and still not see it all....its a must for anyone with a mechanical bent.

Visited January 2013
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New Mexico
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Great exposure to Kenya's railway history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

The Railway Museum in Nairobi has been renovated recently and it is much better than before. It's a little bit shabby around the edges, but provides a very good overview of Kenya's railway history. I recommend this for all tourists and Kenyans alike. Go in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat and downtown traffic.

Visited March 2012
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Northern California
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

If one were a real trains buff, perhaps this "museum" would have been more interesting than it was to me. Other than a large and unorganized room full of materials and photographs, the museum consists of a number of train cars and engines sitting outside in the weather, slowly -- perhaps not so slowly --rusting away. Other than what one can deduce from reading the "signs" on the equipment itself (such as "manufactured in 19 __ at ___), there was no museum signage to assist in understanding where and when the equipment was used. Not recommended.

Visited January 2013
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