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Background of North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway can accommodate up to 180 passengers. It has the highest standard of service that is at par with international standards.
The charge of the railway is at RM 270 net for adults while children who are aged from 3 to 12 are charged RM 170. Children that are two years old and below can get on the railway for free. The fare for the North Borneo Railway is inclusive of lunch.
Lunch consists of a fusion of Asian and Continental cuisine. Lemonade is also served with the meal. It is important to note that the rate does not include ground transfers.
Route of the railway
The North Borneo Railway boards at 9:30 a.m. at Tanjung Aru Station. It departs every Wednesday and Saturday at 10 a.m.
It does not travel on other days. The office of the railway opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. from Mondays through Saturdays. Keep in mind that it is necessary to make a booking the day before departure in order to secure your seat on the railway.
Getting there by bus
To get to the North Borneo Railway, it will take approximately 10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu. It is 15 kilometres from there. One can choose to take either a bus or a taxi to get there. The bus is the more economic option as one only has to pay RM 1.50 per person while the taxi rates at RM 15 total. Buses depart from the entrance of Wawasan Plaza while taxis leave from city centre.
The route of the North Borneo Railway is as follows: passengers board the train at 9:30 a.m., the train leaves Tanjung Aru Station at 10:00 a.m. Then at 10:40 a.m., the bus stops for a short excursion in Kinarut Town. Passengers also have the option to visit Tien Shi Temple. At 11:00 a.m., the train leaves Kinarut Station. At 11:45 a.m., the train arrives in Papar. Passengers on the train have the option to cruise through the local market and shop houses or stay on the train.
At noon, the passengers need to get back on the train. The train leaves Papar station at 12:10 p.m. At 12:30 p.m., lunch is served to the passengers. The train finally arrives at Tanjung Aru Station at 1:45 p.m.
When is an ideal time to visit North Borneo and take the North Borneo Railway?
North Borneo has a tropical climate. This means that the weather is generally warm all year around. The rains come down in unexpected bursts and this is to be expected.
If you are looking for the most comfortable time to visit, this would be from the months of November through February when the weather is at its coolest. However, note that it can still get very hot during these months.
What to bring during the North Borneo Railway trip?
The North Borneo Railway is definitely a worthy adventure, but one must come prepared. That said, it may ideal to bring a fan with you to help you cool down when the heat becomes unbearable.
The 3-Speed Folding Fan by Travelon is advisable to take along with you. It is available on Amazon.com for only $14.20. Remember to pack clothes that you will feel comfortable in. Cotton is an ideal fabric for clothing.
Feedback from experienced travellers
One reviewer of the North Borneo Railway from Chelmsford, UK on TripAdvisor.com said:
Lovely day out, the service was good, and a great way to see the countryside. A must do.
Another reviewer hailing from Perth, Australia had this to say about the North Borneo Railway:
Tiffin lunch was fantastic. We went on this train a week after reopening. It was a real highlight for train enthusiasts.