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Monday, 26 June 2017

Exploring Cairo: An afternoon for train lovers at the Egyptian Railway Museum

Samar Nasr , Thursday 13 Apr 2017
Outing for Egptian Railways museum
Outing for Egptian Railways museum
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Views: 3801

The history of the railway industry holds a special fascination, for young and old alike. It's a joy to have the details of this history revealed in a simple and interactive way. This can only be achieved through a visit to the Egyptian Railway Museum, located in the centre of Ramses Square in downtown Cairo.

first printer for railways
first printer for railways

Tickets run to EGP 50 for foreigners, EGP 5 for Egyptians, and EGP 1 for students. If you'd like to take photos you can purchase a photography ticket for EGP 10.

The museum is located near Ramses railway station, and can be reached easily from Shohadaa metro station. It is surrounded by restaurants offering popular Egyptian food, including koshary, foul and tamiya. Inside Ramses station you will find restaurants offering chicken and kebab.

The museum includes an elevator for easy access to the exhibits, as well as a book and gift shop.

The railway museum consists of two floors. The first narrates the history of transportation in Egypt from the Pharaonic era through the modern age. The second floor gives the history of railway industry and includes exhibits of the printing machines used to print tickets, primary models of trains, royal trains, steel bridges, and parts of a real train station.

hand oil cans
Hand oil cans

The first floor of the museum also includes all the equipment used for train repair. You will find handheld oilcans used to grease locomotive parts, a copper balance to measure the size and thickness of the paper used at the press of the Egyptian Railways and a walschaert valve gear used to regulate the entrance of steam into the cylinder of the train engine.

Taken together, the exhibits are a real treat for kids interested in trains and railway stations.

On your tour you will also find models of a concrete overhead footbridge and a 100-tonne electric overhead travelling crane. There are also many primary models of the planes that operated under the United Arab Company.

Model of a fixed span of the bridge over the nile of Edfina
Model of a fixed span of the bridge over the nile of Edfina

Upon your return to the museum's pharaonic era, you will find models of ships owned by King Api, a model of a private ship returned to one of the Meketre family in the year 2000 BC from the tomb of Thebes, and another model of a military ship linked to King Ahmos.

model of cargo ship for King Ape
Model of cargo ship for King Ape

"[The building] belonged to ministry of transportation before it was opened as a museum during the reign of King Fouad the 1st. It once included [the history] of railways, aviation, and the postal service," museum director Nahed El-Khateeb told Ahram Online.

El-Khateeb added that the museum includes a royal train belonging to Saeed Pasha, which was used for his trips from "Kasr El-Teen" palace to "Montaza" in Alexandria.

The second floor draws a holistic picture of the Egyptian railway — once the second biggest railway system in the world. In the centre of the hall, there is an electronic screen that showcases all the railway's activities.

Beside this is the royal corner, which includes cars from the royal train under the Khedivate era, consisting of six coaches and one locomotive.

Model of Joy valve gear represents the steam distribution used for the engines
Model of Joy valve gear represents the steam distribution used for the engines

This floor includes also a model of a sand truck, which contains side doors to facilitate the discharge of sand, oil lamps used for lighting, models of trains made by Egyptian citizens, a modern freight caboose and samples of old tickets.

You could easily spend an hour or two in the museum — a real treat for kids and grown-ups with an interest in trains. 

Model of rocket locomotive and tender
Model of rocket locomotive and tender

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