In some parts of the interior of Sabah, train still serves as the main transport for people to get around. Just to name a few train main stops like Saliwangan Baru, Halogilat, Rayoh, and Pangi along the Beaufort-Tenom route are the places which depend solely on train service. In the old days, the North Borneo Train spanned it service starting from Jesselton to Melalap as its final station.
According to history, the Tenom-Melalap route was opened in 1906. And was closed in 1970.
Back in 1975 to 1976, the station was used as Melalap Police Station. It served as a quarters at the same time. If I am not mistaken a policeman and his family lived there during the period. I was in Primary One then. I remember studying in the same class with the policeman son until Primary Two at a school nearby, SK Melalap.
A row of shophouses building is located nearby. The building is as old as the railway station. Even though it has aged but still home a couple of families who run the sundry shops. The are two shops still operating. One is long closed in the late 1990s.
In the past, there used to be a Tamu (market) on Saturdays. The town folks came out with farm produce to sell in exchange for a packet of sugar and coffee. Fish mongers from Tenom came up with salt water fish. It was the day that everyone waited for.
During that time, RM 1.00 for a Land Rover ride from Melalap to Tenom was considered too much to afford. The Tamu then slowly forgotten as most of the new generation work at the government offices in Tenom. Who would want to buy at the Tamu when they could get supplies from Tenom as they wish for daily? Soon after, Melalap has turned out to be a quiet town.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: North Borneo Train: Melalap The Final Station.