Borneos only rail service links Kota Kinabalu at
Tanjung Aru to Tenom via Beaufort. A journey of 4 hours, this railroad snakes
along the Padas River, giving the passengers a spectacular view of the Tenom
railway was the only means of transportation into the interior until only half
a century ago. Built originally by the British North Borneo in the mid 1880s,
it stretched from Beaufort to Tenom and Melalap through the Padas Gorge and to
the coastal towns of Weston and Jesselton. The North Borneo Railway has a 90
tonne Mid-Century British Vulcan Steam Engine, the last of a fleet of
locomotives that have serviced the railways through Borneo since the 1990s.
The train accommodates 180 passengers and consists of five colonial-styled
coaches. It gives the experience of the bygone era of British North Borneo,
creating a time capsule and transporting passengers along the lifeline of
Sabah. It creates the nostalgic romance of travelling on a steam engine. The
North Borneo Railway is built and operated to the highest of international
standards and safety.
Another plus is that the Kitchen car serves Tiffin
styled meals highlighting an exotic blend of colonial and local cuisine. These
three layer tiffin boxes, each one unique, are based on the original dining
concept on board trains at the turn of the century all over Asia.
regular daily train to Tenom is cheap and full of local character. It passes
through rainforests lining the Padas river, a favourite for whitewater
The recommended Journey for train buffs is to catch the train, spend some time
at Tenom and catch the train back to civilization the next day.
The Papar Run
Running from Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu through major towns of Kinarut, the
train veers to hug the coastline of Kinarut and runs through mangrove swamps
and rice fields before crossing over the Papar river and stopping over at
The Kimanis Run
Complimented by a wide range of Imported wines, the train tracks through
villages onto Papar and stops by the beach at Kimanis. Allowing passengers to
enjoy a panoramic sunset with a unique dinner setting.
Bingawan Golf Run
Pampered by stewards during the journey through tranquil countryside, the
train stops just before the town of Bongawan for a short coach trip to the
Borneo Golf and Country Club for a round of golf and a return journey with
high tea being served.
From Tanjung Aru, passengers take a coach to Beaufort and board the train.
Passing through jungles with a laid back atmosphere, the train stops at
Tenom, and will begin it journey back the next day.
The North Borneo
Railway, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia is currently closed for maintenance
The North Borneo Railway, together with other rail services, have been
operating relentlessly on the current network of rail and bridges for
As the popularity of these services grew, frequency of use have increased,
but the infrastructure has grown little.
A thorough check-up, upgrade and overall maintenance made it inevitable
and unavoidable that the only rail network on Borneo is currently under
renovation by the authorities for this maintenance.
The North Borneo Railway will be out of
commission until further notice.