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After about four years of closure for repair, the railway service from Kota Kinabalu to Beaufort is back in operation again since March 1st, 2011. Now the public can enjoy this historical route once more, which began service about a 100 years ago. These almost new trains are bought from southern China. These trains are very comfortable, with cushion seats, air-conditional and a small washroom for nature call. The journey from Kota Kinabalu to Beaufort takes about two hours and fifteen minutes.
The Kota Kinabalu to Beaufort route, is a wonderful train ride back to the British Colonial era in Sabah, then North Borneo. Passengers will get to experience the west coast country side, passing rivers, villages and padi fields and the beautiful sceneries at the Kimanis beach. At one point there is even a tunnel crossing, where everything goes dark for a couple of seconds. Get the camera ready for those station-stops which are right in the centre of the towns. Here one can see many two storey wooden old shops in small towns like Bongawan, Kimanis and Membakut. Some were built even before the Second World War.
The distance from Tanjung Aru Railway Station to Beaufort Railway Station is 85km. Between Tanjung Aru Railway Station and Beaufort Railway Station, there are 7 sub-stations, namely Putatan, Kinarut, Kawang, Papar, Kimanis, Bongawan, and Membakut.
The North Borneo Railway train station at Kota Kinabalu is located at the old station in Tanjung Aru which is next to the airport runway.
Here are the train schedules:
From Tanjung Aru to Beaufort (2 services)
- Departure time: 0745 hours @ RM4.80 (one way)
- Arrival time: 1000 hours
- Departure time: 1340 hours @ RM4.80 (one way)
- Arrival time: 1600 hours
From Beaufort to Tanjung Aru (2 services)
- Departure time: 1101 hours @ RM4.80 (one way)
- Arrival time: 1325 hours
- Departure time: 1630 hours @ RM4.80 (one way)
- Arrival time: 1938 hours
From Beaufort to Tenom, the North Borneo Railway uses an older train, which runs on diesel. The distance between these two stations is 49km. There is only one daily service in the morning from Beaufort to Tenom, covering stations like Saliwangan, Haligolat, Rayoh, and Pangi. Rayoh is the place where the popular white water rafting at Padas River starts. From time to time services on this line can be interrupted due to landslides. Do check with the train station for more up to date information.
Service from Beaufort to Tenom:
Departure time (Beaufort): 0750 hours
Arrival Time (Tenom): 1015 hours
Fare: RM2.75 (one way)
Sabah State Railway Department
tel: +6088 254 611
Do take time to check out and study these old wooden shoplots that look so out of place if put along side the modern cement shoplots. See them when there are still around which can be easily destoryed by fire, as it happened many times before. This above picture was taken a day before this wooden shoplot was burnt down.
Sceneries along the Tanjung Aru-Beaufort route: