The sgr train is modern rail project undertaken by the Kenyan government. Many years ago before Europeans set foot in Kenya, a Kalenjin prophet spoke of an iron snake that would be slithering its way across the land devouring cattle and causing destruction along the way.He said the beast would bring a foreigner who would rule over the local population. The iron line turned out to be the Kenya Uganda railway line or the Lunatic express.
The railway line was constructed when the Europeans where scrambling for Africa towards the end of the 19th Century. At the time they had trading posts along the cost but few had ventured into the hostile interior of country. The construction of the Kenyan railway began in the Port city of Mombasa in 1896. It was completed in 1901 at the lines terminus in Kisumu. Operations on the line commenced in 1903. The Lunatic Line linked Kampala in Uganda with the Indian Ocean town of Mombasa.
The line was a great logistical achievement and became strategically and economically vital for Kenya. It linked the Indian Ocean with Lake Victoria and the East African interior. Branch rail lines were built and became an essential part of safari adventures in the early decades of 20th Century. You can visit the railway museum and learn more about the history of the Kenya railway.
After using the old railway line for more than a century, Kenya decided to upgraded to the standard Gauge railway line. Also known as the SGR. The Standard Gauge Railway connects the port city of Mombasa to the capital city of Nairobi and the line supports cargo and passenger transportation. The railway line is 480 KM and trains have shortened the travel time from about 10 HRS to about 4 HRS. The SGR is the most expensive project ever carried in post independent Kenya and construction in still ongoing to extend to other parts of the country.
The train travel between Nairobi and Mombasa is a big boost to tourism. The Kenya SGR train passes through tourism destinations through its journey. There are two types of train services. The Madaraka Express which does not make a stop during the course of the journey, and takes about 5 hours to reach its destination. The other services is the inter-county passenger train, which on the other hand, makes a stop at respective stations including Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Miasenyi and Mariakani county stations.
Travelling by the Kenya sgr train is beautiful and a sort after experience. It is a safari by itself. As you leave Nairobi it will not be long be you start encountering Kenya wildlife as you by some of the most popular parks in Kenya. The train ride also brings you to the sight of Africa’s tallest Mountain, Kilimanjaro. The train ride provides a unforgettable vista.
Making the train ride part of your Kenya safari can indeed be a good idea. After a long safari, you can take a train ride to the coast for well deserved rest by the beach.