Sunday, February 05, 2012

North Borneo Railway steam train service back on track again

Kota Kinabalu: The North Borneo Railway steam train service is back on track after an absence of six years.

"This is the only one of its kind in South East Asia which I think Sabah should leverage on, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun at the re-launching of the North Borneo Railway here, Saturday.

The North Borneo Railway is a joint venture project between Sutera Harbour and the Sabah State Railway Department, which was temporarily closed in September 2005 due to the upgrading works of the railway track.

The three-hour train service will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays from to Tanjung Aru and Papar.

Masidi said Sabahans should be proud that despite the developments and the modernisation of the transport industry, the State has somehow managed to save one of the last remnants of colonial transport.

"I believe that this is going to be a winner and be very popular among tourists just by looking at all the amenities and facilities that are served on board," he said, adding that it is very important that the standard of service is maintained continuously.

"I have always advocated that there are things in Sabah that we need to maintain for instance old shop houses in Tanjung Aru, which we need to strengthen the structure and convert into something that we can actually add value to what we already have.

"We have to keep in mind that development is not just about building tall buildings, its about the convenience of the people, you need to look beyond the building itself to appreciate what you are going to put into the city.

"If the city is congested with buildings, obviously traffic jams will follow next and at the end of the day, your intentions of wanting to enrich the city would actually backfire because people will stop patronising the city," said Masidi, adding that is why the same principle should apply to a product like this North Borneo Railway," he said.

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