North Borneo Railway: A Journey Back to the Colonial Era

On 4th July 2011, the Sutera Harbour Resort’s North Borneo Railway resumes business to enliven the long gone era of British North Borneo. The exclusive train service was launched in January 2000, a joint venture project between the Sutera Harbour Resort and the Sabah State Railway Department to promote Sabah as a tourism destination. However, this service was temporarily stopped for several years to allow reconstruction of the track.
In tradition, the 180-capacity train connects Kota Kinabalu to Papar and returns to Kota Kinabalu after an hour sojourn in Papar town, one of the rice bowls of Sabah. The train ride starts at 9.30am on every Wednesday and Saturday which takes approximately 4 hours to complete a return trip. There will be a short stopover at Tien Shi Temple and old shops in Kinarut town as well as a visit to shops and market in Papar.
Passengers will be proud to be onboard of this British Vulcan steam locomotive which represents the last of the fleet of steam engines that have plied through the West Coast of North Borneo since the late 1800s. What’s more, it is one of the few functional locomotives fueled by wood. The train comprises six carriages (no air-conditioner) that have been restored and renovated to reflect the bygone era. An exotic bar car and observation deck accompanies the train, plus, a modern washroom in each carriage – all to provide a comfortable passenger experience.
Have breakfast and a tasty ‘tiffin’ colonial lunch while enjoying the views of the coast, hills and villages of Sabah. Contact us for more details.
By Willie Ki
Pix: Joebonaventure M.

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