National Railway Museum
The Sierra Leone National Railway Museum was opened in 2005 in the old railway workshops in the Cline Town area of Freetown. The museum has a fine collection of historical 2’6” gauge railway locomotives, coaches, wagons and related equipment from the former Sierra Leone Railway that once connected Freetown to Pendembu via the second principal city of Bo, and to the major town of Makeni.
Established in 1895, the Sierra Leone Railway started its first passenger train service to the provinces in 1898. The Railway was closed in 1975 and the locomotives and carriages that now form the major part of the museum’s collection languished in the Cline Town workshops for 30 years, suffering from numerous acts of vandalism during the civil war.
The collection is now under restoration by local skilled employees, with guidance and support by the UK National Railway Museum. Exhibits include:
- Beyer-Garratt steam locomotive No.73 of 1955;
- Hunslet steam tank locomotive No.81 of 1947;
- Manning Wardle steam locomotive 'Nellie' of 1915;
- Diesel locomotives from 1958 and 1959;
- HM The Queen's Royal Coach from 1961;
- Various passenger carriages;
- Plus hundreds of photographs and artefacts related to the Sierra Leone Railway.
- Durrant, A.E., Jorgensen, A.A. & Lewis, C.P. 1981 Steam in Africa. London: Hamlyn.
- Rowe, D.T. 1997-98. ‘The Sierra Leone Government Railway’, Locomotives International 41.