The new Tanjung Aru Railway Station of the Sabah State Railway Department (JKNS) opened on 30 September 2016 as part of the Aeropod project by S P Setia. The Aeropod is an integrated mixed-use development including a commercial square, SOVOs, Residential Towers, Hotels, Lifestyle Shopping Mall and Tanjung Aru Railway Station with provisions for a future light rail transit (LRT) line.
JKNS train operations remain the same at this station on the Tanjung Aru – Beaufort Line, with the new station offering a higher level of comfort for passengers. The old station has since been demolished to make way for the site of the Shopping & Entertainment Mall.
The modern station sign of the new JKNS Tanjung Aru Railway Station.
The station’s exterior is clean and modern, with an airy concourse and glass facade of the JKNS office building.
The JKNS ticket counter at the concourse.
There is a spacious waiting area beside the ticket counter before the platform.
The North Borneo Railway which operates the twice-weekly steam train between Tanjung Aru and Papar also has an awkwardly modern ticket counter at the new station with colonial touches inside the air-conditioned room.
The office wing of the new JKNS Tanjung Aru Railway Station.
Just like the old station, ticket gates to scan the ticket barcode are also present at the new JKNS Tanjung Aru Railway Station.
The train uses Platform 1 most of the time, since services aren’t that frequent anyway. However, if ever there is a need to board the train at Platforms 2 or 3, a spacious overhead bridge within the station allows you to cross the tracks safely and with ease. The bridge comes with escalators (presumably will operate in the upward direction only) and elevator access.
The new Tanjung Aru Railway Station now has 3 platforms. Platform 1 is a side platform leading directly to the main concourse, ticket counter and entrance, while Platforms 2 and 3 are on an island platform connected to the main concourse by the overhead bridge.
With the Aeropod development, there seems to be a free shuttle bus service in place, however, the timings did not match up for me to check it out.
Overall, the station is pretty impressive with the spacious interior and modern look since it’s a huge jump from the old station which is a little stuffy with slim platforms. However, there is a lot of room for development on the railway, and with just two pairs of trains a day, the station feels rather unutilised. Hopefully, the Sabah State Railway will get more train sets soon to increase services on the main Tanjung Aru – Beaufort Line, so that the station gets a little bit more busy and JKNS can get a little bit more revenue.