From July 2011, the North Borneo Railway featuring the British ‘Vulcan’ Steam Engine made its 1st run.
Visitors to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia will be able to enjoy a nostalgic journey on this vintage steam locomotive, one of the few functional locomotives left in the world that is fueled by wood, in beautifully-restored, historic green carriages. This classic train is operated to the highest of international standards and is fully compliant with modern safety standards.
The North Borneo Railway is a joint project between the Sutera Harbour Resort and the Sabah State Railway Department to help enhance the existing infrastructure and to promote Sabah as a tourist destination. The North Borneo Railway was officially launched on 22nd January 2000 in honour of Kota Kinabalu achieving city status on 2nd February 2000 and it was temporarily closed due to the reconstruction of the track by the Sabah State Railway Department.
The steam locomotive, the last of a fleet of locomotives that once plied the tracks through Borneo since the late 1880s, was manufactured by the Vulcan Foundry Ltd in Newton-le-Willows in Lancashire, United Kingdom. In 1954, Vulcan Foundry received the final order from the North Borneo Railway for three locomotives that resulted in a neat 2-6-2 tender locomotive of 58’-0” length, weighing 85 tons.
Managed by Sutera Harbour Resort, the train has a capacity for 80 passengers accommodated in 5 colonial-period carriages, each with a capacity of 16 passengers, and is named after a town along the journey … Papar, Kinarut, Tanjung Aru, Putatan and Kawang. For special charter services, the passenger load may be increased up to 160 passengers.
All the carriages are non-air conditioned and are fitted with fans and washrooms. A kitchen car serves ‘Tiffin’ styled meals, which highlight an exotic blend of colonial and continental cuisine, on the return journey from Papar to Tanjung Aru.
The actual journey begins from the Tanjung Aru Station at 10.00 am and passengers will be served a Continental breakfast as soon as the train leaves the station. Throughout the journey, passengers will be able to take in the sights and sounds of the countryside, paddy fields, mangrove jungles and pristine coastal beaches as the train chucks along the tracks. Along the journey, the train will make a 20-minute stop at Kinarut and at Papar, a 30-minute stop. Passengers may disembark at these two stops to explore the many interesting facets of the townships which include a Chinese temple and the Papar ‘Tamu’, an open market where one can experience the kaleidoscopic culture and distinctive customs of the people of Papar.
The steam train is scheduled to run every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday;
The fare is inclusive of Continental breakfast and Tiffin-style lunch. For guests of Sutera Harbour Resort, the fare is also inclusive of complimentary return transfer from the Resort to Tanjung Aru Station.
Throughout the entire 3-hour train ride, passengers can be assured of hospitality and 5-star service that is synonymous with Sutera Harbour Resort. Also to be available on sale is a unique collection of memorabilia and replicas of the locomotive for passengers to remember their journey onboard the steam locomotive.Be the first to take a nostalgic trip into the bygone days of the British North Borneo Charter Company.
Going Full Steam Ahead!!
From North Borneo Railways