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Larry Lam's Guide Note
KUALA LUMPUR

KL RAILWAY STATION

The station is situated at Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin and is probably the most photographed train station in the world. The first railway in the Klang valley runs from Klang (Pengkalen Batu) to KL. It was built in 1886. This is the third station built to serve that railway line. The previous two were demolished.

The architect for this station is Arthur Benison Hubback, who was then the Architectural Assistant to the Director of Public Works. He was previously in government service in India before his arrival here. This may help to explain his passion for Moorish/Northern Indian designs. He is also credited for designing the other heritage buildings in town - the Railway Adminstration building, the Old Chartered Bank building and Masjid Jamek.The contract to build was awarded to JA Russell and PC Russell. It was completed and ready for a train service on 1st August, 1910.

There is a story that the design was originally intended for a Moscow trade fair and later built here with snow gutters and a roof to withstand about 2 metres of snow. How true is this? No one seem to have the answer.

Elegant domes and arches form the dominant features of the station. The groud floor of the station housed a linear set of halls with a deep continuous covered loggia in front to provide shade and shelter. The platforms were out behind. In 1967, a new 4 storey extension was built north of the station to accommodate the need for additional office space. Heritage Station Hotel is located at the northern wing of the station.

Although extensive renovation was carried out in mid 1980s to modernise the station, care and painstaking attention have ensured that the original architecture is preserved and not unneccessarily destroyed. The domes which were originally constructed from cement rendered on wooden frames were found to have been weakened by termite attack. These were rebuilt with concrete and steel reinforcement.

Travellers used to board the trains here to travel to most cities and towns on Peninsular Malaysian's west coast and to Tumpat on the east coast. There were also trains services to Singapore and Thailand. Today KL is served by a new transportation hub. As of 16th April, 2001 all KTM intercity services operate from the new Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station located in nearby Brickfields.

KTM Komuter services continue to stop at our 'old' KL Railway Station. The world famous Oriental Express which travels from Singapore and Bangkok weekly also makes regular stop here.


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Last updated: 23rd June, 2009.
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