Greg Hands explores British railway heritage during visit to Nairobi Rail Museum

Greg Hands at the Nairobi Railway Museum
Greg Hands at the Nairobi Railway Museum. Photo: Twitter/GregHands

Minister of State for International Trade, Greg Hands, has been checking out examples of British railway heritage during a visit the Nairobi Rail Museum.

One of the highlights of his visit was seeing the carriage from which railway manager Charles Ryall was dragged and consumed by one of the man-eating lions of Tsavo.

Greg Hands at the Nairobi Railway Museum
Greg Hands with the carriage in which Charles Ryall was attacked by the man-eating lions of Tsavo, Photo: Twitter/GregHands

Ryall was one of the many victims of the lions, nicknamed The Ghost and the Darkness, who attacked and killed workers at Tsavo during the construction of the Uganda-Mombasa Railway in 1900.

Nairobi Railway Museum
Photo: Twitter/GregHands

The two voracious and insatiable man-eating lions waged an intermittent nine month long warfare against the railway and all those connected with it.

Colonel Patterson with Tsavo Lion
The first of the two Tsavo man-eating lions (“The Ghost”, FMNH 23970) shot by Lt. Col. Patterson.

As well as the danger posed by Kenya’s wild animal population, workers had to contend with the threat of malaria, dysentery and other deadly diseases, as well as accidents.

Making a comparison to those early pioneers, Mr Hands Tweeted that today’s investors from the UK don’t have these hazards to contend with and get “extensive assistance from Department for International Trade, UK Export Finance and the UK High Commission.”

Kenya Railways
Photo: Twitter/GregHands

The Nairobi Railway Museum can be found adjacent to Nairobi railway station and is operated by Kenya Railways.

It contains exhibits from the defunct East African Railways and was opened in 1971 by East African Railways and Harbours Corporation.

Among the museum’s exhibits are the W.G. Bagnall engine, Hugh F Marriott, which was built in Stafford, England, in 1951 and operated as a switcher at the Magadi Soda Company until 1970.

Hugh F. Marriot
The Hugh F. Marriott engine was operated by the Magadi soda Company and manufactured by W.G. Bagnall. Photo: Stephen Wanjau (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Visitors can also see the engine used in the 1985 Movie, Out of Africa.

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