The soporific buzz of bees fills the abandoned train station at Kiu, a two-hour drive from Kenya's capital Nairobi. Rusting rail sleepers lay on the grass outside; a slender snake slithers away after footsteps disturb his sunbaked snooze.
A new Chinese-built rail track lies about 500 metres away from the old colonial-era railway station, which closed down in 2012. But the new high-speed trains thunder through without stopping; Kiu is just a dusty blur glimpsed through the window.
Some want the old line, dubbed "the Lunatic Express" when British colonialists built it more than a century ago as it cost the lives of thousands of construction workers from British India and was considered a huge waste of British taxpayers money, revived as an attraction.
"It should actually be a steam train so you can actually see the smoke," said Mohammed Hersi, the chairman of the Kenya Tourism Federation, a private sector lobby. "That would be something special."
PHOTO EDITING MARIKA KOCHIASHVILI; TEXT EDITING Katharine Houreld and Alexandra Hudson; LAYOUT JULIA DALRYMPLE