The Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Kuala Lumpur railway station building was the centre of city rail transportation hub. However with the new and modern Kuala Lumpur Sentral taking over the rail transportation station duties, the KTM Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is now preserved as a heritage building.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Kuala Lumpur Railway Station


Visiting the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, I found it to be very quiet and felt it was more like a ghost town. From the hey days when it was the hub, I still remembered there were throngs of passengers waiting for their respective train to arrive. I still remember sending my girlfriend (who is my wife now) over to the train station one night as she needed to go to Singapore to attend a relatives wedding ceremony. The train journey would be long as it takes about six to seven hours on an express train. The idea was to take a sleeping berth and sleep through the entire journey, and when you wake up in the morning on the next day, you would have arrived in Singapore after your forty winks!

The old Moorish train station wasn’t big and there were crowds as every family and friends came to pick up or drop off passengers to the train station. Now with the duties passed to the KL Sentral station, the KTM KL Railway Station is now very quiet. They still have a booth where you can book your tickets, but you will have to hop on over to KL Sentral to take your train. There is a little mini museum here to provide some added interest in the quiet halls.

The deserted platform of KTM Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Historical Background

The Keretapi Tanah Melayu Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was designed by Hubbock in 1910. Hubbock envisioned a fairy-tale Moorish style building. Opposite the station, an equally impressive Malayan Railway (KTM) headquarters then known as the Malaya Railway Administration Building was build in 1917. The beautiful exterior Moorish architecture has graced many a Malaysia travel postcards and travel magazine, and I myself was very much compelled to take some photography shots of this train station too.

Within the railway station, in the platform area, resembles the glass and iron railway stations constructed in England during the Victorian era. The completion of the construction was however delayed as the roof design did not meet the specification met out by the British railway specification. Would you believe it, the off spec issue was that it requires the roof to support snow a metre deep! Hey since when would Malaysia have snow? Can’t even see any ice in Genting Highlands, let alone snow!

The glass and iron style windows of KTM Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

In and around the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Don’t just admire the KTM railway station, the Keratapi Tanah Melayu headquarter in the opposite side has an equally beautiful exterior. Also in the opposite somewhere on the left side was the former Majestic Hotel, built in 1932. It was saved from demolition in 1983 when it was converted into the National Art Gallery. However the art gallery has now shifted to another new location with bigger premises to house more exhibits and this building is left vacant for now.

To the north of the KL railway station and a short walk away are the Masjid Negara (National Mosque) and the entrance road to the botanical garden known as Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens. To continue with your Kuala Lumpur heritage walk, you could travel down the road tunnel from Masjid Negara, walk pass an all girls Methodist Girl School and into Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square).

Getting There

There is no direct LRT train station to this Keretapi Tanah Melayu Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, besides you would be heading to a railway station itself! You can walk over from KL Sentral station, could be a long walk, or you can walk over from Dataran Merdeka. Or else drive over or take a taxi.


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