On the opposite end wall you will find originals of the blueprints of the arrangements made to take the railway construction materials down the steep escarpment into the Great Rift Valley, just west of Nairobi. Four wire-rope inclines were built, two of which had a gradient of 1 in 1. These arrangements allowed the construction of the line to proceed along the floor of the Rift Valley at the same time as the difficult permanent descent into the valley was being built. The wire-rope inclines were in use for 18 months, during which time 170 miles of track were laid beyond.
Exhibits relating to track and bridge construction include lifting and traversing jacks, a cant gauge, and a variety of old point levers including some first used in India. In connection with the control of traffic on the railway, which is single track throughout, there are tablet instruments, a line-clear staff, a phantaphone (or telephone), a ‘dak box’, used at each station for the safe-keeping of railway messages and telegrams.
Of special interest to the steam enthusiast are those items belonging to old locomotives, such as an oil-burning headlamp, a steam-operated bell, and a nameplate from a Governor or 60 class Garrat. A very unusual item is a bench seat which could be fitted to the locomotive footplate above the cowcatcher to allow distinguished travellers on the line an unsurpassed view of East Africa’s scenery and wildlife; Among such visitors were the former American President Theodore Roosevelt and the Prince of Wales.