Not that many years ago I took a train between Mombasa and Nairobi on what has been termed ‘The Lunatic Line’, a phrase which dates from when it was built by the British over a hundred years ago, when dealing with wild animals was a major challenge. I discovered that from being a daily service it ran only 3-4 days a week due to problems with aging trains and infrastructure. The 12 hour journey for the 472 km’s actually took nearer to 16 hours – there was a ‘silver service’ which was unchanged seemingly from 100 years ago and was great, but with many stops, regular losses of lights and power, this was never going to attract many users!
Last month, however, there was a test of a new higher speed train that will take 4-6 hours and is planned to start in June. The line has been rebuilt with the help of the Chinese and will also convey cargo trains. Ultimately services may continue on to Uganda. This option will add a very pleasant alternative to flying between Nairobi and Mombasa and we hope to be able to offer this soon.