Anyone fancy a train ride?

I see some pretty good things in this part of the world in the months to come.

Pic from the nice folks at

In July, the North Borneo Railway will start running again from Kota Kinabalu to Papar in Malaysian Borneo. This railway dates from 1896, which means that we’re talking steam trains here, so be prepared for a slow, relaxing ride if you’re planning to take this train. The ride will take you through coastal towns, rice fields, rainforests and coffee plantations so there’ll be lots to see. 

Those who enjoy long train rides might be a little disappointed to learn that it’ll be a short journey – it’s less than 40 kilometres between start to finish, so you’ll actually arrive on the same day. The new timetable for the North Borneo isn’t available yet but let’s all hope that it’ll be possible to break the journey to spend time in Papar and its surrounding areas before heading back to Kota Kinabalu.



Route map from

Information on the Sutera Harbour website (the resort manages the North Borneo Railway) is a little scanty and the site could do with more photographs but the info there looks interesting enough. Have a look at this link for more details of what to expect when the train is ready to start chugging again. 

I’ve always been a great fan of train journeys, especially extra-long, overnight ones. I’ve done all of New Zealand, Western Europe and parts of China by train, but as they say, it’s never enough.

The ultimate, of course, would be the Trans-Mongolian Railway from Moscow to Beijing which I was ready to take in 2003 but didn’t, because my partner had health issues and couldn’t travel.

A little nearer to where I live, there’s always the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney. Even closer to home is Southeast Asia by train, which is completely doable and should make for an incredible ride.

Updates on the North Borneo Railway will be posted here closer to July.

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1 Response

  1. Aisyah says:

    i love to travel by train too…would take the opportunity whenever i can…love your site…peace