30 July 2008

All Aboard!! The First Train In Malaysia Had Departed Here...

Salam And Greeting.

Imagine you are in the year 1885, being part of Malaysia's history. Scents of the burning woods and fresh hot steams were all around. The hissing and puffing sound of high pressured steam being released in the background. Rows of British VIPs and local gentlemen in their best Victorian outfits. And suddenly from afar the Station Master yelled...

"ALL ABOARD!!! This train is departing now..."

What an amazing feat it was.

Well, maybe that was the scenario when the first train service between Taiping to Port Weld (Kuala Sepetang) opened to public on a Monday, June 1st 1885. This was 60 years after the world's first permanent steam locomotive hauled public between Stockton and Darlington in England.

This first railway line in Malaysia began its construction in 1882. The work force who built the track came from two division of Pioneer Corps that were brought in from Ceylon and settled here later. When it was completed, the then acting Governor Sir Cecil Clementi Smith and acting British Resident Frank Swettenham rode the maiden journey on February 12th 1885 before it was opened for public.

For a short track of 12.8 kilometres between Taiping to Port Weld, surprisingly there was three stations along the line which were at the King Edward VII (1) Primary School, Simpang Station and Port Weld Station. However, only one remains as a school while the other two are not there anymore.



Well, maybe this was due when they move to the existing building at Station Road in 1900 and later when the line was closed in 1970s. But still, the existing station will surprise any visitors with its antique settings, water pumps and instruments that are still usable till today.




We may not experience what being described earlier since it happened more than a century ago. But believe us, when you are at the Taiping Railway Station, your mind and thoughts will some how accidentally goes back through time and from afar you will hear the Station Master's famous word...

"ALL ABOOOOOARD!!!"







15 comments:

Mberenis said...

Wow.. what a trip through time... I couldn't believe how good condition everything is! Thanks for sharing!Great blog! I love it!


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Old Lady from the Green Mountain said...

Who was the first station master for the Taiping Station?

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

Dearest Ma'm,
We are still looking for the record on that particular person. Will let you know if we've found it..

Old Lady from the Green Mountain said...

Could the first station master of the Taiping Station have been an Irishman with the last name of Ware? The British were excellent record keepers ... they documented everything ... ship records, civil service lists, etc., etc. I suspect you will unearth the information someday. Please post it when you do. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

hello all, my father told me about my grandfather being part of the first train in malaysia, his name was ernest ware, would love to find out more, could you please email me at Gregory.Ware@amp.com.au

cheers

Low said...

my grandfather was Edwin ernest ware and great grandfather was Frederick george ware, i believe one of them were it

marcus said...

yeah thats my great grandad he got captured by japanese and they thought he was a spy because he wyas half irish but luckily escaped being put to work on the death railway

Old Lady From the Green Mountain said...

OK ... I did a little digging through newspaper archives and this is what I have found out ... an article on March 1st, 1902 mentions that the Taiping station is still under construction ... it talks about the station master's house being built and the rail workers quarters, etc.

An article on Sept. 24, 1902, says that HO Corteling is taking over duties of station master in Taiping from F.G. Ware, who has proceeded to Teluk Anson in the same capacity.

If the Taiping station is not completed in March 1902 and in Sept of the same year we have Frederick George Ware being moved from his position of station master in Taiping, what is the likelihood that he is Taiping's first station master? Does anyone want to take bets?

I'll keep digging and if I find information about the first Taiping station master, I will post it with the supporting evidence.

Edwin Ernest Ware was Frederick George Ware's son. He was a train driver until his retirement in 1950.

According to what I have read ... Edwin Ernest Ware was captured by the Japanese and was tortured by them. He did work on the infamous Burma-Thailand Railroad ... the construction of which cost the lives of more than 700 Allied POWs. In spite of everything he went through, he survived to return to his family.

Taiping Heritage Cult said...

To Low, Marcus and Old Lady From the Green Mountain...
Thanks for the feedback and your great findings. Appreciate them to be shared out for the knowledge of other visitors.
Pity the records were not kept properly or maybe it is still somewhere in the closet of some archive yet to be discovered.

Anonymous said...

the strait time 24th july 1950 page 5, "Drove trains for 30 yrs" that's my grandfather" EEW, if marcus is from queensland robina then i would say he is my cousins son Mark Ware, i got the article from my cousin whom she found me by accident, small world, anyway any updates i would appreciate an email to Gregory.Ware@amp.com.au it great to hear that the wares were famous

Anonymous said...

Frederick George Ware was not Irish. He only pretended that to avoid capture by the Japanese.

Bevo123 said...

To Old Lady from the Green Mountain, I am including some information about FG Ware in a memoir as he was my GGrandfather. If he was replaced in the position of stationmaster at Taiping before the station was opened and before the buildings were completed, is it then incorrect that he was the first stationmaster there? Alternatively, was there already a station at Taiping and he was replaced before the new one opened?

pro.mpspk@gmail.com said...

I do hope you can help me gather info on the first group of people fron ceylon who came over in 1885 to build the first track in Malaya. My great great granddad was one of them . please help me to get more info on this how do i go about this , which office has all the early records? Thank you I am June tel:0124251865

Anonymous said...

The full detail of the ceylonese men who came here to build the railways can be found in this book called '100 years of ceylonese in malaysia and singapore 1867-1967' by s.durai raja singam. You can get a copy from his son Jawaharlal Jai Singam. He is on Facebook.

Bevo123 said...

Hi there, am I able to use the photos for Taiping station in my life story?