Melalap Railway Station

Stesen Keretapi Melalap
The station photographed in 2013 before restoration works.
General information
LocationMelalap, Tenom, Sabah
Coordinates5°14′31″N 115°59′55″E / 5.24194°N 115.99861°E / 5.24194; 115.99861
Owned bySabah State Railway (present)
Operated byNorth Borneo Railway
Line(s)North Borneo Railway Line
(present-day Western Sabah Railway Line)
Bicycle facilitiesNo
Opened1 August 1914 (1914-08-01)
Closedc. 1970 or 1971

Melalap railway station (Malay: Stesen Keretapi Melalap) is a former railway station on the Western Sabah Railway Line located in Melalap, Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia.


In 1900s, like most areas in the West Coast Division; vast area of Melalap was once planted with rubber trees.[1] A railway extension line to Melalap was then constructed by English engineer Arthur J. West using labourers from China comprising mostly Hakka people.[2][3] The line was completed in 1906 to transport the produce of North Borneo as well for people to travel to major towns.[4] The line was opened along with other lines on 1 August 1914.[4] Following the rail service termination due to economic changes in the areas around Melalap, the station was eventually abandoned and fully closed between 1970–1971.[5] The station began to deteriorate and covered with bush since then as nothing been done despite some attempts by certain quarters to save it due to lack in financial funding and support.[1]

Preservation and government gazetted as historical sites

In 2016, following efforts by volunteer Richard Ker who is the founder of North Borneo Historical Society, the station area have been cleared out and renovated who then launch the #SaveMelalapStation campaign as part of the group efforts to preserve all Sabah historical structures.[6] This was added with the help of funding from bigger companies and other parties who also contribute to the fundraising to save the station.[7] On 9 March 2017, the station was gazetted as part of the historical sites of the modern state of Sabah by the state government.[4] Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan said on 20 March 2017 that the old station building would also be preserved as a National Heritage.[8] On 23 February 2018, it is one of 24 heritage sites in the state that were gazetted by Sabah's State Heritage Council under new enactment of "State Heritage Enactment 2017".[9][10]


The building suddenly collapsed on 22 April 2018 as no reinforcement work had been undertaken to stabilise the structure despite had been gazetted a month before.[11]


  1. ^ a b Richard Ker (22 March 2016). "Melalap Station Restoration and Conservation Project #SaveMelalapStation". North Borneo Historical Society. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  2. ^ Danny Wong Tze Ken (1999). "Chinese Migration to Sabah Before the Second World War". Persée. pp. 131–158. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  3. ^ Rob Dickinson. "The North Borneo Railway Project". The International Steam Pages. Archived from the original on 28 March 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Jenne Lajiun (10 March 2017). "Sabah's first railway station proposed as historical heritage site". The Borneo Post. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  5. ^ Dr. Johnstone; A. J. West (3 February 1898). "North Borneo Chartered Company: North Borneo Railway; The first train in North Borneo". British North Borneo Chartered Company: Views of British North Borneo, Printed by W. Brown & co., limited, London, 1899. Malayan Railways. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  6. ^ Stephanie Lee (6 July 2016). "Old rail station to be saved". The Star. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  7. ^ "NGO makes saving colonial station first main task". Daily Express. 10 July 2016. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Melalap railway station building to be preserved as National Heritage – Pairin". The Borneo Post. 22 March 2017. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Sabah gazettes 24 heritage sites". The Edge Markets. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  10. ^ Ricardo Unto (23 February 2018). "24 State Heritage sites under new Enactment". Daily Express. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  11. ^ Stanley P (23 April 2018). "Sabah's historical Melalap train station collapsed". Carry Beans. Retrieved 30 October 2018.