East African Railways and Harbours

Nairobi to Mombasa

1961 to 1977

In 1969 East African Railways and Harbours become the East African Railways Corporation.
Please Note:  As far as possible the sequence is from Nairobi towards Mombasa, but trains may be heading in either direction.
After a day in Nairobi, the Coach Seating and Berthing board is checked prior to joining the return working to Mombasa - Train A02, due to leave at 1830.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
11 Class tank attaching boxcars to the Mail consist around 1800 for an 1830 departure.  The boxcars were specially adapted for transporting passengers' motor cars;  the service was also available between Mombasa and Kampala and between Nairobi and Kampala. - PHOTO Malcolm McCrow
59 Class Garratt 5928Mount Kilimanjaro heads No 1 UP into Nairobi's platform 1 (left).  Large bogied caboose:  often goods trains would have one of the small four wheeled cabooses in the consist.  PHOTOs George Gilliland
A 60 Class runs through with a pick-up goods - the vehicle behind the engine is a cattle wagon (CW).  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
31 Class 3143 Somal heads a freight through Nairobi Yard.  Note the lower quadrant signals:  up country the norm was a 3 aspect upper quadrant signal - vertical, line clear;  45o, caution;  horizontal, stop.  PHOTO Anthony Potterton
A 60 Class with name plates removed pauses in Nairobi. - PHOTO Kevin Patience

Another 60 Class heads a freight out of Nairobi Yard for the Nanyuki Branch.  PHOTO - James Waite

An unkempt 11 Class tank shunts (switches) in Nairobi Yard.  PHOTO - James Waite

Once 1101 was pristine in crimson lake livery:  by 1978 it was looking very sad.  PHOTO - James Waite

Unidentified 59 Class passes through Nairobi Up Yard with a tank train - PHOTO Iain Mulligan
Veteran 24 Class Trip engine in Nairobi Up Yard. Originally classified as EB3 they were delivered between 1923 and 1930 from Vulcan and Nasmyth Wilson - initially to the Uganda Railway which became the Kenya Uganda Railway in February 1926. PHOTO Iain Mulligan
Over 20 years later - Nairobi Station with an East African Railways Corporation green shunter positioning cabooses.  The metre gauge track is very prominent - PHOTOs Anthony Potterton
Passenger livery for an inspector's caboose complete with rear window not fitted on a goods caboose which was finished in all over maroon - PHOTO
Looking towards the steam shed, the setting sun illuminates towering cumulonimbus clouds in the darkening eastern sky. It was often possible to visit the MPD while waiting for the Mail Train - PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
5906 Mount Sattima on shed in the rapidly setting tropical sun.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
59 Class cab - 5906 Mount Sattima.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
59 Class cab - 5906 Mount Sattima.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
Morning at Nairobi Steam Shed - 59s and a shunter seen from Train A01 as it approaches Nairobi for its scheduled arrival of 0830.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
Evening at Nairobi Steam Shed seen from the overnight return service to Mombasa.  Contrast this with the morning view previous.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
Formerly Sir Percy Girouard, 60 Class 6012 on the eastern boundary of Nairobi.  This was the final locomotive produced in France.  PHOTO Anthony Potterton - PHOTO Anthony Potterton
Approaching Nairobi a Tribal Class waits to join the main line.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
5925 Mout Monduli heads a freight for Mombasa in 1971 - PHOTO Peter Ritchie
The Ngong Hills behind a typically British water crane at Embakasi as seen from a Mail Train - PHOTO Geoff Pollard
With the Ngong Hills just visible in the encroaching dusk a 59 Class heads its tank car consist - Train 113 Up -  across the Athi Plains near Embakasi as it heads for Nairobi - PHOTO Iain Mulligan
The first passenger train from the coast crosses the Ngong River Bridge which was completed as part of the Embakasi/Nairobi realignment in 1958. PHOTO - EAR&H
5909 Mount Mgahinga leaving Nairobi - PHOTO Kevin Patience
No 4 Down still hauled by a 60 Class light Garratt 6003 Sir Stewart Symes.  The working would later fall to the 59s - see below.  PHOTO Iain Mulligan
60 Class 6003 Sir Stewart Symes before it was fitted with a Giesel ejector.  The train is near Embakasi - PHOTO Iain Mulligan
Class 59 heads No 4 Down near Embakasi. The train would have departed Nairobi at 1545, calling at all stations to Mombasa where it was due to arrive at 0710 the following morning - just 50 minutes ahead of No 2 Down - the Mail Train which will have left Nairobi at 1830 for Athi River, Konza, Mtito Andei, Voi and Mombasa - PHOTO Iain Mulligan 
Classic late fifties with an unidentified 59 Class heading a freight over the Athi Plain - PHOTO Iain Mulligan
EARC 90 Class with a train of tank cars - PHOTO Kevin Patience
58 Class about 1960 - the locomotive has now been fitted with a Giesel ejector.  5810 is seen at Athi River, 16 miles from Nairobi - PHOTO Iain Mullilgan
5904 taking water at Athi River -  PHOTO James Waite
5904 Mount Elgon at Athi River -  PHOTO James Waite
EARC 92 Class diesel arriving as 5904 Mount Elgon waits at Athi River -  PHOTO James Waite
Mount Elgon and its train depart across the Athi River for Nairobi - PHOTO James Waite
59 Class 5906 Mount Sattima on the Athi Bridge - PHOTO Iain Mulligan
Daylight at Konza - the first station after sunrise - PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
5927 Mount Tinderet with a tank train - location unknown - PHOTO Geoff Pollard
5927 Mount Tinderet with a tank train - location unknown - PHOTO Geoff Pollard
5927 Mount Tinderet with a tank train - location unknown - PHOTO Geoff Pollard
5927 Mount Tinderet with a tank train - location unknown - PHOTO Geoff Pollard


Train of tank cars at Sultan Hamud - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Sultan Hamud in the 1950s - PHOTO Ron Bullock
The mosque at Sultan Hamud with 5918 passing by - VIDEO - Ian Stone
59 Class wends its way through the bhundu - PHOTO Kevin Patience
An unidentified 59 Class ploughs through the bush near Tsavo - PHOTO Iain Mulligan
5903 Mount Meru on Tsavo Bridge heads for Voi - PHOTO James Waite
A 59 Class at speed with a tank train train near Voi -  PHOTO James Waite
5918, the legendary Mount Gelai holds its tank train in a passing loop - PHOTO James Waite
59 Class headed freights crossing at a passing loop - note the semaphore signal in the background  - PHOTO James Waite
5903 Mount Meru at Voi with a train from Taveta in the loop.  PHOTO James Waite
Tribal Class 3113 Bamba in the passing loop near Voi. Note the meticulously maintained ballast. -  PHOTO James Waite
2455 detaches from its train and prepares to take on water at Voi -  PHOTO James Waite
2455 has obviously seen better days - PHOTO James Waite
1307 4-8-4T takes water at Voi Shed - PHOTO James Waite
5903 Mount Meru at Mackinnon Road -  PHOTO James Waite
5913 Mount Debasien on a level crossing at Bechuma gate near Maji ya Chumvi. - PHOTO - Peter Ritchie (1963)
5913 Mount Debasien on the level crossing at Bechuma Gate.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie (1963)
Late running Mail Train between Voi and Mombasa.  The train had been long delayed at Voi when the train engine failed and a 59 was taken off a following freight.  For a while the train appeared to be double headed as the failed train engine was towed with its train until it was taken off somewhere between Voi and Mombasa - PHOTO Malcolm McCrow
Mail Train in the days before the 59s - PHOTO Ron Bullock
Downwind of the 59's oil-fired smoke - PHOTO Ron Bullock
Early second class coaches recently introduced aluminium first class coaches on a Mail Train.  It was in 1958 that the natural finish was replaced with overall cream, and in 1961 they acquired the standard maroon and cream of the second and third class stock  - PHOTO Ron Bullock
On 7 May 1956 the restaurant car "Longonot" and one of the new aluminium First Class coaches, attached to the Mombasa-Nairobi Mail were burnt out.  The fire was discovered between Simba and Emali and the coaches were uncoupled from the train at considerable risk.  The first class coach is seen blazing (left) while the remains are shown (right).  PHOTOs EAR&H Magazine April 1956
Evening - Train A01 approaching the Mazeras spiral.  By the morning when 8716 hauls its train into Nairobi, it will have climbed over a mile above sea level with its 660 tonne train.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie (1971)
View from 59 Cab as the train heads under the Mazeras Spiral - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Morning - Train A02 descends the Mazeras Spiral as it heads for its 0800 arrival in Mombasa.  The leading three coaches are all TCBs (Third Corridor Bogie);   a very new and very old coach  are numbers 4 and 5 in the consist, while numbers 6 and 7 are a 1950s SCB (Second Corridor Bogie) and FCB (First Corridor Bogie).  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
5918 Mount Gelai in 1975 at the spiral crossover outside Mazeras. - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Mount Gelai on the Mazeras. Spiral. VIDEO - Ian Stone
Miritini arrival - PHOTO Kevin Patience
5927 arriving at Miritini - Kevin Patience
Palm trees form a backdrop to 5930 Mount Shengena - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Tank train headed by 5911 Mount Sekerri arrives beneath the palm tress at Miritini - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Miritini arrival - an unidentified 59 Class with furnace flame clearly visible at the head of a freight.  The visible flames below all the Garratts was quite normal.  - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Changanwe as a 59 arrives from up-country with a freight - Kevin Patience
Contrast the elevation - 160 ft compared with the 9001 ft at Timboroa.  Changamwe is the last station before arriving at Mombasa - PHOTO Malcolm McCrow
5930 Mount Shengena with unidentified 59 in a double headed lash-up at ChangamweBut it is likely that teh second Garratt is the failed train engine - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Departing Changamwe - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Same train races passed a gated level crossing - PHOTO Kevin Patience
A failed 59 is towed by a relief locomotive.  On occasions the train engine of the Mail Train would fail and a relief engine was sometimes taken from a freight train heading in the same direction.  The Mail Train could thus be severely delayed depending on how far away the following freight train was.  PHOTO Kevin Patience
Apparent double header approaching Mombasa - but the second locomotive is not under power - PHOTO Kevin Patience
Mail Train No 2 Down headed by a 59 Class approaching Macupo under a threatening sky - PHOTO Iain Mulligan
Late running Down Mail approaching Macupo Causeway.  - PHOTO Malcolm McCrow
EAR&H has always favoured Macupo for publicity photographs:  a 60 Class featured on the 1955 Christmas card and over the years was superseded by a 59 Class and then a 90 Class diesel - all heading the Up Mail to Nairobi.  PHOTOs EAR&H Magazines
Unidentified 29 on a short freight near Mombasa - PHOTO Peter Ritchie
Mombasa steam shed and unidentified 59.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
Mombasa steam shed viewed from the Nairobi train as it arrives in Mombasa - PHOTO Peter Ritchie
Mombasa Shed viewed from the station platform.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
Now preserved 2921 Masai of Kenya shunts Mombasa Yard in 1971.  PHOTO - Peter Ritchie
As darkness falls, former 90 Class, by now  an 87 Class, 8716 heads Train A01 - the overnight all classes from Mombasa to Nairobi in 1971 - PHOTO Peter Ritchie
By 1963 the overnight train from Mombasa to Nairobi carries all three classes.  The third class accommodation of  the overnight train from Mombasa to Nairobi - PHOTO Peter Ritchie (1971)
5934 Menengai Crater heading at train at Mombasa - PHOTO Simon Skudder
2442 with a freight train at Mombasa  - Kevin Patience
5918 after restoration prepares to depart Mombasa with a freight train - Kevin Patience

East African Railways and Harbours