An insight on the Kenya – Uganda railway and the need to preserve the Country’s railway stations
(Case study : Voi Town Railway station)
The Kenya-Uganda railway, whose building commenced in 1896 at the port of Mombasa Kenya, lives on close to 117 years later to tell the story of a country and the different generations that have gone through it. Though not as robust, polished and stupendous as it used to be, it serves as a testimony to colonialism and mutual opposition of both nature and people to this strange thing crawling its way through their land and clawing its roots into it.
Sometimes called the Lunatic express due to the uncanny series of unfortunate events that seemed to follow it; ranging from man eating lions to massacres, it completed its journey through the jagged Kenyan terrain at the port of Kisumu in 1901.
Case study: Voi railway station.
The growth and development of Voi town can largely be attributed to the Kenya-Uganda railway which is said to have reached Voi in 1896/1897 a year or so after it left Mombasa .Voi town served as a significant transit point between Mombasa and Nairobi and also served as the junction for the feeder railway that went on to Taveta then to Moshi then further down to Arusha, Tanzania.
The station in itself is an exquisite, formidable concrete antiquity built in that classical British architectural style. It can equally serve as a time machine because almost nothing has changed in the last 100 years or so. Its current state is however disheartening as rotting roofs, deserted offices and abandoned wagons tell the story of a country/town that has failed to preserve its history.
This series of photos taken at the Voi railway station is part of a photo essay that seeks to revive the railway and give it back that life and vigour that is slowly drifting away from it. Consequently showing the need and urgency to preserve, maintain and appreciate stations such as Voi which in this case serves as a representation of most stations within the country.
To get the full document with a compilation of some of the photos Download here