North Borneo Railway steam trip

23rd January 2015.

    We had turned up at the station the previous day to enquire about the running of the steam train. There was a lot of security there which we had not expected, and no, we could not look around the station. If we wanted to travel we should come the following morning at 9 am when the ticket office opened. On the way to the station we had noticed very high fencing boards all around the station area making it impossible to see anything. On the outside were pictures and notices about building a large transport interchange and we saw no sign of any trains at all. We returned the following morning and sure enough the train staff turned up and opened the ticket office across the forecourt. Had we made a reservation? No, but yesterday we were told to be here at 9 so here we are. Well, the train is fully booked but we will find you seats! So we bought the tickets and headed across to the station but still the security staff would not allow us onto the platform even though the train was already there. Only when the staff came across from the ticket office and spoke to them would they let us pass. These staff assured us that there was no problem taking photographs at all. The rest of the day is told mainly in pictures.

Above and below: Diesel locomotive 6601 with a single cab with the morning train from Beaufort, which it is now propelling out of the station. This train is termed a DMU, having 2 intermediate trailers and a driving trailer, all numbered 6601A, B & C. In reality it is a fixed formation push-pull set with dedicated locomotive. the stock for the steam service is on the right.

Above & below: As 6601 leaves it passes Wickham trolley 23 in the engineering yard.

Below: NBR  20 is a Fowler 0-6-0D 4210030/1950, out of use in the yard (since at least 1985) with coach 3105A behind. The coach is thought to have been supplied with Wickham railcar 3105 which is still active.

Moments later there is a whistle from behind and Vulcan 2-6-2 6-016 appears from the shed and runs through the station to reverse onto its train.

6-016 couples up to the front of the train. The first coach is a kitchen and generator car, and appears to have been converted from one of the 31xx series of railcars. Certainly the front end is almost identical to 3105 which I photographed at Beaufort later in the week.

Now that 6-016 has coupled up to its train 6601 returns its own train to the adjacent platform.

Now that the crew are happy that all is well with the engine it's time to join the other passengers for breakfast as the train sets off on the first leg of its journey.

Breakfast is served as the train steams out of the station and past the entrance to the yards, which has recently been relocated from the northern end of the station in order to build a new transport interchange. A discrepancy in the time settings of the two cameras used means that some of the pictures will appear out of sequence.

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Page created 2nd July 2015.