Sabah State Railway (Tanjung Aru – Beaufort – Sembulan)

The Sabah State Railway is the only railway in East Malaysia. It spans 134km from Tanjung Aru to Tenom, though there are no through trains between these two stations. Services are split at Beaufort station as different rolling stock are used.

The Tanjung Aru Railway Station is located along the same road as the one leading to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport Terminal 1. In fact, the railway line is parallel to the runway and you do get to see close-ups of planes taking off.

The Sabah State Railway operates with a closed ticket system, meaning there are fare gates to scan your ticket before being allowed into the platform.

Scan your ticket at the gates to validate your ticket.

A rake of ex-KTM Third Class coaches stabling at Tanjung Aru station. This will form the 1.40pm train for Beaufort.

A converted DMU or Railcar now being used as a normal passenger coach.

The former KTM Third Class coach, now operating between Sembulan, Tanjung Aru and Beaufort.

A new CSR Ziyang “DMU” readies for service on the 7.45am trip to Beaufort. Though touted as a DMU, this train is really just a push-pull single locomotive train, with the locomotive at the Sembulan end.

The interior of the new train.

Going away from the populated city of Kota Kinabalu and Tanjung Aru, you will get to see local life just minutes after departure from Putatan station.

The train arrived at Beaufort station with a slight delay of 10 minutes.

Opposite this train, there is a potential rake of the train between Beaufort and Tenom using a locomotive. Yes, you are not limited to boarding the passenger cars of the train, but any other car as well including parcel cars.

The Beaufort Yard.

Looking south to Tenom.

Remember your ticket when you exit.

A DMU arriving from Tenom. This train was also delayed for 10 minutes.

Along the way back to Tanjung Aru and Sembulan.

Sembulan Railway Station is located in Kota Kinabalu, and is the “defunct” “Kota Kinabalu” station as stated in almost all maps found online. Don’t trust everything on the internet, guys. 2 names exist for this station: Sembulan and Sekretariat. They are the same station.

The true end of the line.

While the Sabah State Railway’s website state that only the PU201 and PS104 uses this station, the station’s timetable says otherwise. You can board and alight from all trains from Sekretariat station, though if you’re heading for Tenom you would spend some layover time at Tanjung Aru.

I didn’t get to go to Tenom, but I’ll try on the next trip.

For more pictures, please visit the Facebook photo album.
You can also get more information from the official JKNS website.

Getting Here
Location: Sabah State Railway
Company: Jabatan Keretapi Negeri Sabah
Line: Tanjung Aru – Beaufort
Fare: RM4.80


  1. Very difficult to find any prices for tickets on any site. RM 4.80 to Beaufort is all I could find.Also as of now no connection to other lines going to Brunei, Sarawak, or Indonesia ? So where can I find prices from Tanjung Aru to the other stops.

  2. where do I find a train schedule? I can’t find one anywhere. I want to take a train to Beaufort from KK on Feb 21 and one from Beaufort to KK on Feb 23 but I have no idea when the trains are

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