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North Borneo Railway

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
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About North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway runs two weekly return departures (Wednesday, Saturday) from Kota Kinabalu to Papar, year round. Lasting approximately 4 hours, passengers experience the lush landscape of the coastal and rural regions of Sabah. A typical 'tiffin' colonial lunch will be served on the return trip.
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North Borneo Railway
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206cathymac wrote a review Feb 2020
36 contributions50 helpful votes
+1
It was a challenge buying the tickets, we ended up travelling to the mcgellan sutera resort to complete the relevent paperwork, its a shame this didnt work out so well by digital means. The trip itself was a well oiled machine, the service was superb and it was a really lovely way to spend time in borneo. Having read other reviews I was nervous it would be cancelled or delayed but no problems at all. I would advise to book direct though as tour operators and trip advisor seem to double the price. A lot more food than I expected on board, cooked to a high standard. Vegetarian options available too. If your in Borbeo, I would recomend doing this.
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Date of experience: February 2020
5 Helpful votes
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JenDragon wrote a review Feb 2020
Leicester, United Kingdom43 contributions15 helpful votes
+1
A great half day trip if you are into nostalgia & steam, we are. Everything went according to plan, lucky us as Steam engines are temperamental as we know from in the uk! The staff during the whole trip from start to finish were polite & cheerful. The food was excellent, both breakfast & lunch with lots of water always on offer. The only negative for us on our trip was the turntable was out of order which is amazing to watch.
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Date of experience: February 2020
1 Helpful vote
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trudy b wrote a review Jan 2020
19 contributions30 helpful votes
We've been on this twice and shall be returning again next year. Steam train through the countryside, children waving.. Tiffin served on damask table cloths such a delight
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Date of experience: February 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Peter L wrote a review Dec 2019
Horncastle, United Kingdom35 contributions19 helpful votes
This was sit on and a must for anyone who loves steam trains. The journey is about 40 Km there and 40 Km back with breakfast on the outbound journey and dinner on the return. The food was lovely as were the staff and the journey itself was like stepping back 100 years. A must if your here in Sabah
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Date of experience: January 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Ruaidah I wrote a review Nov 2019
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia40 contributions66 helpful votes
I booked this journey through Klook after reading about it in various journals. After considering all the public reviews, I decided to give it a try. The price for one person per trip was Rm400++ inclusive of breakfast & tiffin lunch, as well as hotel transfers seemed pretty reasonable to me. Hence, I made a purchase for 3 people. Come the day of the trip, we were picked up from our hotel and dropped off at the Tanjung Aru station. I must say, I was kinda apprehensive....as the day before this I had heard from a few tour operators the 'problems' encountered on the North Borneo Railway train trip. However, I was prepared to face whatever outcomes and prayed that there would not be any major problems. Upon arrival at the station, we went to the North Borneo Railway office to register...upon that moment in time, I was already feeling the flutter of excitement! We, my daughters and I were then given a passport each before boarding the train. We were attended by staff in costumes of yesteryears....and when we were on the train, we were immediately transported back in time. Pretty cool!! The cabin was delightfully vintage....no air conditioning, only fans. The seats were also very close to the table, hence limited leg room. However, all those seem trivial compared to the journey we were about to embark in. The train left Tanjung Aru station at 10.30am.....chugging past a few towns, to the final destination that is Papar. We were served breakfast of local 'kuihs' and coffee, which were eagerly devoured while enjoying the views of the local countryside. The train stopped at the town of Kinarut for about 20 minutes, and we were allowed to explore the laid-back town...free and easy. We then continued up to Papar, where the train stopped for about 40 minutes for us to explore the town any how we so wished. Before leaving Papar, we were served lunch in tiffin carriers. Our meal comprised of local Sabahan delicacies and it tasted really good. After lunch, the train began it's journey back to Tanjung Aru without any hassle. Granted, this train trip may not be like other heritage railway services around the world. However, I am proud to admit that it was unique in it's very own way. For one, service on board the train was excellent, trully Sabahan hospitality at it's best. Kudos to the people on board! Secondly, the company did their best to ensure the North Borneo Railway train did not die a sudden death...as that would be a shame. The towns of Kinarut and Papar may not have much to offer, but the train trip was a wonderful experience! And I'm not saying that because I'm a Malaysian.....we trully enjoyed it. So, do keep up the excellent service......thank you North Borneo Railway, for an awesome time. You make me proud to be a Malaysian!
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Date of experience: November 2019
7 Helpful votes
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Response from SuteraHarbourResort, Marketing and Communication Rep at North Borneo Railway
Responded 11 Dec 2019
Dear RuaidahI, Thank you for taking the time to review us in our TripAdvisor page. We are happy that you took the opportunity to ride on board the North Borneo Railway's vintage steam locomotive - one of the only few functional wood-burners left in the world! It brings us great joy to have guests, like yourself, who truly appreciates the adventure, ambiance, food and service that we have to offer. Having said that, we look forward to another opportunity of welcoming you back again for another nostalgic trip back in time with the North Borneo Railway. Best regards, The Management
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