FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2012
Contact: Ginny Ceballos
Re-Launch of the North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway is a joint venture project between Sutera Harbour and the Sabah State Railway Department (Jabatan Keretapi Negeri Sabah), signifying a historical collaboration through common initiatives between the private sector and the state government. The North Borneo Railway was temporarily closed in September 2005 due to the upgrading works of the railway track by the Ministry of Transportation. The North Borneo Railway continued its service on 4th July 2011 after the upgrading works was completed.
The re-launch ceremony was officiated by YB. Datuk Masidi Manjun, the Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment Sabah at the Tanjung Aru Train Station in conjunction with the Kota Kinabalu City Day Celebration. Present at the ceremony were YB Datuk Japlin Hajim Akim, Assistant Minister of Infrastructure development Sabah, Datuk Abidin Madingkir, Mayor of Kota Kinabalu City Hall, Tan Sri Ahmad Kamil Jaffar, Chairman of Sutera Harbour Resort, Datuk Edward Ong, President of Sutra Harbour Resort and other distinguish guests.
The primary goals of the project are to further enhance the existing infrastructure, to promote Sabah as a destination market for domestic and international tourism, and to provide another quality activity in Kota Kinabalu.
The North Borneo Railway also aims to give the experience of the bygone era of British North Borneo creating a time capsule and transporting passengers along the life line of Sabah. It creates the nostalgic romance of people travelling by steam train in the past. The rail line runs from Tanjung Aru through the towns of Kinarut, Kawang and Papar. The train crosses over the Papar River over a steel trestle bridge into Papar where the train will stop for at least 30 to 40 minutes for passengers to experience the “rice bowl” township.
The North Borneo railway is the last of a fleet of locomotives that once plied the tracks through Borneo since the late 1880s, was manufactured by the Vulcan Foundry Ltd in Newton-le-Willows in Lancashire, United Kingdom.
The train features five fully refurbished colonial-style passenger train carriages. Each carriage can accommodate 16 persons to provide a total of 80 passengers.
Refurbished to reflect the steam engine era, both the exterior and interior provide an environment that would have been typical of stepping onto a train in 1900. The exterior utilizes the traditional deep green and cream of the original North Borneo Railway, with carved brass logos, showcasing the original design of a tiger holding a rail wheel, standing on the royal crown.
The interior highlights the natural woods of Sabah. Each set will seat four passengers, with a table in-between to facilitate the dining experience. Each carriage features a unisex washroom, providing the amenities of a modern bathroom onboard the train. Windows will remain open throughout the journey, and high-powered fans will line the ceilings to ensure maximum comfort. A British Pullman carriage will be used as a functional kitchen car as well as a powerful generator to provide for all electrical and power requirements. The North Borneo Railway is built and operated to the highest of international standards and is fully compliant with modern safety standards.
The train runs on every Wednesday and Saturday between Kota Kinabalu and Papar. Arriving at the Tanjung Aru Station, passengers will be met by a well-appointed train steward, attired in period-style uniform. Passengers will board the train at a designated platform that has been styled to create a distinctive historical feeling.
Passengers are offered free seating on one of the awaiting carriages. Along the journey, passengers will be treated to some of the most unique and interesting scenery in Sabah whilst being pampered with polished service onboard. On the return leg, passengers will experience “tiffin-styled” meals, which accent a typical railway meal of the turn of the century. Served in traditional tiffin boxes, this unique culinary experience highlights the exotic blend of Asian and Continental cuisine, primarily focusing on a sampling of Malaysian delights.
The steam train is scheduled to run every Wednesday and Saturday; and is priced at:
The fare is inclusive of Continental breakfast and Tiffin-style lunch. For guests of Sutera Harbour Resort, the fare is also inclusive of complimentary transfer from the Resort to Tanjung Aru Station.
Throughout the entire 3-hour train ride, passengers can be assured of hospitality and 5-star service that is synonymous with Sutera Harbour Resort. Also to be available on sale is a unique collection of memorabilia and replicas of the locomotive for passengers to remember their journey onboard the steam locomotive.
Note to Editors:
Sutera Harbour Resort is a tourism development project spread over 384 acres of prime sea-front land and consists of the five-star The Pacific Sutera Hotel and the award winning The Magellan Sutera Resort as well as the Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club. Designed as a world class retreat offering harmonious living within nature’s paradise, Sutera Harbour Resort is only 5 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city centre and 10 minutes from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
Sutera Harbour Resort’s status as a unique leisure attraction is augmented by its affiliation to the nature resorts of the five Sutera Sanctuary Lodges comprises of the nature lodges at Kinabalu Parks, Mount Kinabalu and Manukan Island, the North Borneo Railway colonial-style vintage steam train, which will be fully operational by July 2011 and the luxury cruises of North Borneo Yachting.
Fast Facts on Sutera Harbour Resort: 956 rooms and suites, 15 restaurants and bars, 5 outdoor swimming pools including an Olympic-size pool, 2 children’s activities centres, 27-hole Graham Marsh designed Golf Course, 41-bay 2-tiered driving range, pro shop, 6 outdoor tennis courts, 3 covered tennis courts, 2 squash courts, 3 badminton courts, 3 fitness centres, 2 Mandara Spas, 104-berth marina, chandlery, extensive water sports facilities, 12-lane bowling alley, karaoke lounge, billiard room, 100-seat movie theatre, dividable ballroom for up to 1000 persons, dividable convention hall for up to 3000 persons, 2400 sqm exhibition hall, and 28 function rooms.
For more information on the Euromonitor International report, please visit www.euromonitor.com/Euromonitor_Internationals_Top_City_Destination_Ranking