Do you know that the train used to pass through Aga Khan Walk, Hilton hotel, Kimathi street all the way to Norfolk now Fairmont Hotel. This were the days Africans first saw the train and perceived it as a moving snake that swallowed people. Is this school of implementers that contributed to us not expanding this locomotive network after colonials left Kenya?
Do you recall days you had to board the train with firewood as fare to Nairobi? The steam engine was the story of the village and people from Butere, Kisumu or Mombasa had narration of their experience on the train journey. It was like the village had met with her elder sister the city.
Steam engine train
Eventually came the diesel engine train that all over Kenya. And commuter train is famous when there are no matatus or buses. We have witnessed how it comes in handy when our dependent matatu refuses to ferry us to work. Eastlands residents would have a thousand words for the train. The Ruiru and Dagoretti train has daily ferried home nearly 20,000 Nairobians. While Kenyatta University has rights to brag as the only university with train station.
Does it shock you, how people manage to hang on this train? Even sit on the top without wary of their life. This true as the Coca-Cola slogan goes, “Lets go Crazy Africa”.
Change is gradual taking place and soon we expect a new train system from Mombasa to Malaba by 2017. Initiatives to launch commuter train from city centre to Syokimau is just light at the end of the tunnel. This is slight improvement of Eastlands version. It targeted the middle income earns who decide to leave and work in different counties.