Sabah State Railway (JKNS) 101/105: Tanjung Aru to Beaufort by Train

Sabah State Railway (JKNS) 101/105 is the sole morning train from Tanjung Aru (Kota Kinabalu) to Beaufort, departing from Tanjung Aru at 7.45am. While the Sabah State Railway is a simple linear network, trains operate on 3 distinct sections, and if you are travelling further onwards to Halogilat or Tenom, you do need to board the PS101/PS105 train to connect with onward trains at Beaufort.

This journey was actually a backup plan due to the cancellation of my North Borneo Railway trip.

As I arrived at the station just in time for the train, I quickly headed to the ticket counter to purchase my ticket.

Heading on to the turnstiles to have my ticket checked by the staff. The turnstiles no longer turn, and tickets are checked manually.

Heading to board the CRRC Ziyang – Nanjing Puzhen Push-Pull Train.

The CRRC Ziyang – Nanjing Puzhen Push-Pull Train is the main rolling stock used on the Tanjung Aru – Beaufort Line as it has the highest carrying capacity at 3 coaches per train.

I was originally booked on the North Borneo Railway but they cancelled my train “due to unforeseen circumstances ( Technical problem ).” (sic) just 2 days before my departure date. Based on reviews on TripAdvisor, the cancellation does seem to be a foreseen problem though.

The whole experience from booking, cancellation and refund also seems rather dodgy for Sutera Harbour Resort, but that’s another complain for another day if I have nothing else to write…

The interior of the CRRC Ziyang – Nanjing Puzhen Push-Pull Train.

This time though, the toilets were locked out of use. Luckily I didn’t drink much water during that morning as I was stuck with no toilets for the 2-hour ride to Beaufort.

My ticket for the Sabah State Railway (JKNS) 101/105 trip from Tanjung Aru to Beaufort. This trip costs just RM4.80.

The legroom available on board the CRRC Ziyang – Nanjing Puzhen Push-Pull Train.

The view of the train from my seat. There is no assigned seating throughout the JKNS network.

Departing from the new Tanjung Aru Railway Station.

A rather safe fouling point here, perhaps a little bit too safe that intrudes into line space. Oh well, not like there are long trains on the Sabah State Railway anyway.

The morning sun from Sabah State Railway (JKNS) 101/105.

Passing by the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

An additional halt should be constructed here for airport access, really.

Approaching a familiar supermarket.

Making a brief stop at Putatan.

Passengers boarding the train at Putatan.

Heading on to Kinarut.

Approaching the new Kinarut Depot, in replacement for the land now taken up by Aeropod.

A former “high speed train”-shaped DMU now resting in the yard. This model should be preserved in my opinion, since it’s a one-of-a-kind train breathing some new life into JKNS when it was running.

Older rolling stock of original JKNS coaches, KTM TC coaches and the non-exploded part of the CNR push-pull train set sitting in the new Kinarut Depot.

Passing by the Tien Nam Shi Temple opposite Kinarut Railway Station.

Making a brief stop at Kinarut.

More passengers boarded the train at Kinarut.

The rather slim platform gap at Kinarut.

Making a brief stop at Kawang.

The safety equipment on board the CRRC Ziyang – Nanjing Puzhen Push-Pull Train.

Seems like you’ll be “persecuted” if you misuse the key.

Oops, I wonder who has already been persecuted.

Making a brief stop at Papar, where I should have made a stop should I have actually been on the North Borneo Railway.

A lot more passengers got on the train at Papar.

Heading on down south.

Making a brief stop at Kimanis.

Making a brief stop at Bongawan.

Bicycles seem to be accepted for carriage without any issues. But of course, this is for just 1 bicycle for an individual, not a cycling group outing.

Making a brief stop at Membakut.

Old shophouses just outside Membakut Railway Station.

Arrived at Beaufort at 9.54am – 14 minutes late.

Upon arrival, I was also able to spot the new Ovis Equipments Private Limited (OEPL) Railbus made in Cherlapally, Hyderabad, India, which just arrived at Beaufort as well, heading off the the yard to rest for the next trip.

The Beaufort Depot.

OEPL Railbus 8801 heading back to the shed.

The company plate of the new OEPL Railbus.

Heading off to exit the station.

The CRRC Ziyang – Nanjing Puzhen Push-Pull Train from the bay platform of Beaufort Railway Station.

Heading to the exit. The turning parts of the turnstiles seem to have been removed here.

The facade of Beaufort Railway Station.

From here, I took a short walk around the town of Beaufort before the train back to Tanjung Aru. As time wasn’t on my side, I could not head on to Tenom to further explore the JKNS network.

Overall, quite a good ride on the Sabah State Railway despite its limited services. With a fare of just RM4.80, there’s not much complaining you can do for this 2-hour journey anyway. Also, this cheap journey was actually a backup plan due to the cancellation of my North Borneo Railway trip which costs RM358.50 per person, so I would say it’s a pretty good backup plan too.

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