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...
23 Lovelane George Town Penang
5 months ago