Tag Archives: vacation at Borneo
The North Borneo Railway’s rich history starts way back in the 1880′s when the North Borneo Charted Company, the administrators of Sabah, then called North Borneo, mooted the idea of a railway for the first time.Following years of batting around the idea of Borneo’s first train, construction on it finally started in 1896.The first section stretched from tobacco rich Baku to Beaufort in the north and south to Weston, where a deepsea wharf was planned.
When construction on the railway was already underway, it was discovered Weston was too shallow for such a facility.The railway line also extended to Kota Kinabalu in the north, and to Tenom in the south with an extension later added to Melalap.The construction of the network was completed in 1906 and consisted of 193km of railway line, a shot in the arm for Sabah’s economy.
On 1 August 1914 the North Borneo Railway was officially incorporated and crops, mainly tobacco, but also tapioca, rice, silk, sago, sugar, soya beans and pineapples were productively shipped to the port at Jessleton (Kota Kinabalu), for export.
Times were good. The railway’s prosperity, however, was relatively shortlived, as the Great Depression hit in the 1930′s. Hardly had the region started to recover from that when WW2 arrived in 1939.