History Kenya

History of The Kenya Railway


For purely commercial and strategic reasons, the British Government built a Railway Line from Mombasa to Uganda. The railway was also intended to help conquer and control the territory called the ‘lunatic express.’ Its construction started in Mombasa in 1896 and took about 5 years to reach Kisumu at £5 Million (sh 615 million at the current exchange rate).

The railway started operating in 1903. Indian Laborers, called Coolies, were key in the construction. But many woes afflicted the constructionWildlife Attacks and resistance from Kenyans who were unhappy with the invasion of their Land, and without Consultation.

In Tsavo, Lions killed many Construction Workers. They were nicknamed the Man-Eating Lions of Tsavo. In Kedong, Maasai Warriors attacked a Railway Workers’ Caravan after two of their girls were raped. They killed 500 people. In Nandi, Koitalel Arap Samoei led his people to resist the construction.

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