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Making the most of a tiny space-Train cabin

We recently took a train ride from the coast of Kenya – Mombasa, to Nairobi. It was quite the journey and something I am glad I can say I have experienced, despite its challenges. You can read all about it here.

However,challenges and delays aside, the train did provide some tips on storage solutions in tight spaces. Because on Meruti we look for inspiration on storage and display solutions, I was really excited to find information that I could share with you. Ok for some of us this is not new, I know. But I figured I would still share this information and also have a different take from the overall experience of the trip.

The train is managed by the Rift Valley Railways(RVR) company. It is the only passenger train currently operating on the Nairobi-Mombasa route. It has one restaurant car and several other cars for accommodation based on the class.

RVR Passenger train
RVR Passenger train

In the first class, cabins measured about 2m by 1.5m. Enough for 2 double-decker style couches/beds. There are 2 bunk beds/couches per sleeping compartment.

Train cabin
Train cabin with raised upper bunk bed


There were several nifty aspects in this space which are maximized to ensure passengers have space to use for the duration of the trip.

An example was the plain surface as seen below on the left.However it has a lid that can be lifted and secured to provide access to a sink as seen on the right. Pretty cool huh!


sink cover
Surface to put your stuff
Lift the lid and you have a sink














Since the train was not full, having access to the next cabin allows you more space to put your stuff.


While storage is key, securing moving or movable parts is also very important due to the mobile nature of this kind of setting. This also assures passenger’s safety while on the train. For example the ladder in the cabin is usually stored against the cupboard, as seen here:


Sockets to secure ladder hooks
Sockets to secure ladder hooks
Ladder storage
ladder storage against the cupboard













However, when one wants to get on the upper bunk bed it is secured against the bed to ensue it does not move when a person in climbing it. Also the bunk bed has straps that ensure one is contained within the confines of the bed when sleeping regardless of the movement of the train.Safety first!


These are other pics of the space in the cabins.

Train cabin sink area. Pic by Meruti
Train cabin sink area


Sink area 2

Sink area with waste disposal
Sink area with waste disposal














And ofcourse a place to hold/secure your drink or cup when the train is moving…you wouldn’t want a wet bed ofcourse.

Cup/bottle holder
Cup/bottle holder



The train does have its gems and we can borrow inspiration from it on how to design and utilize small spaces while still getting the most out of the space.


Now onto some other adventure[icon icon=icon-smile size=14px color=#000 ].


Have a great week!





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