Construction of the North Borneo Railway started in 1896 in order to open up the land to improve accessibility and commercial opportunities in the Sabah region of Borneo. The steam engines were de-commissioned in 1971 with the introduction of diesel engines, but in 2000 the Sabah State Railway Department and Sutera Harbour Resort re-launched the steam service as a historical attraction, using two wood-burning engines built by the British Vulcan company in 1955. The train starts from Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu, passing through Putatan, Kinarut, Kawang and ending in Papar, with a couple of stops along the way to visit Kinarut and Papar. Breakfast and a tiffin lunch are provided en route, along with refreshments, as the train passes through the fields and villages during an enchanting four-hour journey.
This fun day trip on the North Borneo Railway depsrts from Kota Kinabalu and can be included on almost any Borneo holiday. The day trip departs on Wednesday and Saturday only.