History of Railways around Kuala Lumpur


History of Railways in Selangor

Click below for transcriptons of early newspaper reports

1884-1886    1887-1889

Click here for early Selangor Railway pictures

The Selangor Government Railway opened its first line from Bukit Kuda, near Klang, to Kuala Lumpur, a distance of 19½ miles, on 15th September 1886. The intention was to complete the line to Klang but it was another four years to the day before the Connaught bridge over the Klang river was opened. The first locomotive was an ex-Indian Railways 0-4-4T which came via Johore, where it is believed to have been used on the Johore Wooden Railway. It was named LADY CLARKE and later became FMSR 2, surviving until December 1912. The next three locomotives were 4-4-0Ts from Hunslet in 1885 and they were numbered 1, 2 & 3, one of the first two being named LADY WELD (at the opening ceremony of the first line) and No. 3 LADY CLEMENTI. The same year an 0-6-0ST named LILY arrived from a contractor. In 1888 an 0-4-0ST named LEILA and another 4-4-0T from Neilson arrived. Hudswell Clarke supplied a 4-4-0T to a slightly different design in 1890, this was named LADY MAXWELL, and in 1893 an 0-4-2T named SISYPHUS came from Dick Kerr. The remaining Hunslet and the Neilson were named LADY DICKSON (at the Connaught bridge opening in 1890) and LADY MITCHELL (at Kuala Lumpur in 1894 during a State visit by the Governor). It was reported in the newspapers in 1890 that the naming of the locomotives led to the line being nicknamed "The Aristocrats Line". The 4-4-0Ts and LADY CLARKE were used for service trains and the other small tanks for shunting and ballast duties. When the first 4-6-0 tender locomotives arrived they took over the goods workings.

The line was extended from Kuala Lumpur to Batu Junction and Rawang in 1892. As it was not feasible to make an end-on connection this line would branch off from the line to Klang just to the south of the Kuala Lumpur station and goods yard. To avoid the necessity of trains having to reverse into the station a new station was planned 26 chains  further south. The new station opened when the first section of the extension opened to Rawang at the end of 1892.  Photograph 7 below was taken in 1893 but I have no date for photograph 8.

The next line to open was from the north end of the Kuala Lumpur (1892) station across the Klang River, along Foch Avenue and through Sultan Street station to Pudu, on 1st June 1893. At the same time work was continuing northwards from Rawang and it opened to Serendah on 10th July 1893 and finally Kuala Kubu on 6th October 1894. By the 1st March 1895 the line from Pudu had been extended to Sungei Besi and it reached Kajang on 14th August 1897. The Klang Valley line was extended from Klang to Port Swettenham on 1st January 1899 and the Selangor Government Railway system was completed when the northward line from Kuala Kubu reached Kalumpang on 1st August 1900 and finally Tanjong Malim on 1st November 1900.

With the extension of all these lines newer and larger locomotives were needed and between 1894 and 1901 three new classes appeared. The 4 D class 4-6-0 tender locomotives came from Kitson in 1894 and Dubs in 1895 and were followed by two F class 4-4-0 tender locomotives in 1897. 4 G class 4-6-0 tender locomotives came from Kitson in 1898 followed by a further 2 in 1901 and another 2 in 1902, by which time the Selangor Government Railway had been merged with the Perak Government Railway to form the Federated Malay States Railway, although it was to be 1903 before the two systems were physically connected

Sometime between 1925 and 1929 a deviation line was built from just north of Kuala Lumpur station (by the old junction for Sultan Street) to a point across the Gombak River from Campbell Road (now Jalan Dang Wangi I think) to the north of Bank Negara. This was a double track line and ran through a tunnel a little way to the west of the Padang (shown on old maps as the Recreation Ground). The old alignment is now buried beneath Jalan Kuching / Jalan Hishamuddin. The old line is shown well on a 1908 KL map, the proposed deviation is shown on a poor 1922 map and the new line is shown well on a 1929 map.

The exact location of Residency station has not been determined but as stated in the FMSR 1935 book it was within the grounds of the Residency which was about a mile north of KLO station with grounds extending across to the River Gombak which the old line followed closely so the station would have been close to the river in the area of the present Bank Negara station. A 1925 FMSR Selangor route map (not to scale) shows all the stations at that time with mileages to the nearest quarter mile. It does not list a Residency station by name but does show the following:
Batu Junction  239¾
Maxwell Road  240½
KL Padang H    241¾
Kuala Lumpur  242¼

Here is a map showing the route of the main line through the west of Kuala Lumpur. It is said to be 1933 but still shows the original alignment which is not shown on a 1929 map. It does show the new alignment also which was only opened after 1925.

Here are some links to the maps in question, courtesy of Dataxbox. The original links to these maps no longer work so have been removed.

1908 Kuala Lumpur Map        1922 Kuala Lumpur Map        1929 Kuala Lumpur Map(new map with tunnel)

The map below shows the approximate location of the landing stage and temporary terminus at Bukit Kuda. These locations were based on information on distances given in an 1886 report which is currently in the process of transcription. An 1890 report states the new railway bridge as "about 500 yards upstream from the jetty at Bukit Kuda". The whole area which now appears to be a "junk yard" was possibly taken up by the terminus with a wooden walkway to the landing stage, while the buildings to the south could be on the site of the old warehouses.

The information in the table below was sourced from the FMSR Annual Report of 1939. The distances quoted may have been interpolated from the then current Working Timetable as they agree with my copy of the 1958 Working Timetable. The figures from Kuala Lumpur to Klang are explained below.

Opened by Selangor Government Railway    Miles & chains


15th September 1886          Kuala Lumpur           to        Bukit Kuda                 19-40*

15th September 1890          Bukit Kuda                 to        Klang                            3-00*

                                                Kuala Lumpur           to        Klang                          21-37

  7th November 1892            Kuala Lumpur           to        Batu Junction             2-33

  7th November 1892            Batu Junction           to        Rawang                      17-24

  1st June 1893                      Kuala Lumpur           to        Pudu                             1-76

10th July 1893                       Rawang                      to        Serendah                     5-30

  6th October 1894                Serendah                   to        Kuala Kubu                13-59

  1st March 1895                    Pudu                           to        Sungei Besi                 6-58

14th August 1897                 Sungei Besi               to        Kajang                          8-22

  1st January 1899                Klang                          to        Port Swettenham       5-40

  1st August 1900                  Kuala Kubu                to        Kalumpang                11-23

  1st November 1900            Kalumpang                to        Tanjong Malim            3-24


*Most reports have what appear to be discrepancies in these distances and quote 21 miles 37 chains. This was in fact the distance from the original Kuala Lumpur station to Klang station from 1890 to 1892. When the new Kuala Lumpur station opened in 1892 this distance was reduced by 26 chains, becoming 21 miles 11 chains. From surveyors reports in 1886 Bukit Kuda was a temporary terminus on the north bank of the river near where Connaught Bridge was later built, 19½ miles from Kuala Lumpur terminus. At that time there were options for alternate routes, one being to the north bank opposite Klang town which would have been 1¾ miles long and another direct to the coast. These were in addition to the route finally selected in 1889. When the bridge was built and opened in April 1890 a new line was laid from the approaches to Bukit Kuda station across the bridge through to Klang, the length of this new section of line was quoted as “adding 3 miles to the system in 1890”. This new line was only brought into use when the station at Klang was completed in August 1890, after which Bukit Kuda station and tracks were removed. The length of these tracks and sidings could account for the extra mile, or the track may have extended beyond Klang station. See map above for the locations of the jetty and station based on available reports.


Opened by Federated Malay States Railway               Miles & chains


14th June 1902                      Kajang                                    to        Bangi                                        6-40

  1st February 1903              Bangi                                      to        Batang Benar                         5-00

15th February 1905              Batu Junction                       to        Batu Road                                0-36

  1st December 1905            Batu Road                              to        Batu Caves                             4-65

  1st February 1913              Connaught Bridge Jn           to        Kapar                                      11-62

  1st June 1913                      Kapar                                      to        Jeram                                       7-63

  1st September 1913           Jeram                                     to        Assam Jawa                            5-47

  1st September 1913           Port Swettenham Jn            to        Salak South Jn                        5-46

15th February 1914              Assam Jawa                          to        Kuala Selangor                       4-36

  1st May 1914                       Ampang Junction                 to        Ampang                                   3-65

  1st September 1915           Kuang Junction                     to        Batu Arang                              6-75

  1st February 1918              Batu Arang                            to        Batang Berjuntai                   7-01

  7th September 1925          Salak South Jn                      to        Sungei Besi (2nd track)        3-64


Major deviations due to flooding.

I now have a much fuller story on Kuala Kubu thanks to Zacky for compiling all the information from numerous sources. Following is a summary:
Firstly, there used to be a town called Kuala Kubu, on the east side of the Selangor River, about 3 miles north of Rasa. This is where the first Kuala Kubu Station (203½ miles) was, 3½ miles north of Rasa Station (207 miles), opened in 1894. The next station north-westwards was Kerling (197½ miles) followed by Kalumpang Station (192 miles) opened in 1900. Tin mining in the area caused silting of the Selangor river with a continuous rise in river levels over the next few years resulting in frequent washouts. By the 1920s the situation had worsened considerably and and the river broke over the retaining wall and flooded the town. The answer was a new deviation from Rasa direct to the line from Kerling at MP 200¼, 3¼ miles north-west of Kuala Kubu. A new station was built at this point and known as Kuala Kubu Road station (opened 15th September 1924) and the section from Kuala Kubu Road to Kuala Kubu became a branch line. As the floods worsened a new town developed a couple of miles further north and was known as Kuala Kubu Bahru and replaced Kuala Kubu which had become inundated. By 1934 the branch line had closed.
A similar deviation line was built in the Serendah area around the same time. These are shown on a 1924 railway map.


2. Batu Junction was not opened until 1905 so the original line from Kuala Lumpur to Rawang would have been 19-57 which agrees with the 1958 KLO to Rawang figure. It is possible that the new (1892) station opened at the same time as the extension to Rawang but I have not found confirmation of this.

3. The distance from Kuala Lumpur (1892) to Sultan Street station was 57 chains. Kuala Lumpur to Pudu 1-76, Pudu to Sultan Street 1-19 in the 1958 Working Timetable.

A search of newspapers of the day for the first half of November 1892 may well produce something, I know Singapore Library has copies of them on microfiche available for public viewing without charge (there is a small charge for photocopies), I used this to find my information on Singapore during my last visit.


Selangor State railway locomotives
Manufacturer Works
Year built number/
July 1901
Dübs 742 1874 Lady Clarke 2 2 ex ISR B class 0-4-4T accident 1893, repaired & reinstated,
R W Hawthorn 2046 1885 Lily 3 3 To Selangor Government Railway in 1893, ex Fleming & Wilson. 0-6-0ST Scrapped 8/1924
Andrew Barclay 309 1888 Leila 4 4 ex-Sungei Ujong Railway 0-4-0ST, sold 1909 to GKS Railway
Hudswell Clarke 364 1890 Lady Maxwell 14 14 4-4-0T Scrapped ./1911
Dick Kerr 59 1893 Sisyphus 15 15 0-4-2T, ref Lowe p128. Scrapped ./1908
Hunslet 377 1885 1* A 6 CD 16 Named on 18th September 1886. To CD December 1913
Hunslet 378 1885 2* A 7 CD 10 To CD September 1915
Hunslet 379 1885 3 Lady Clementi A 8 CD 18 To CD March 1915
Neilson 3888 1888 4 Lady Dickson A 11 CD 24 To CD January 1920
Kitson 3530 1894 5 D 22
Kitson 3531 1894 6 D 23
Dübs 3220 1895 7 D 24 Scrapped 1/1926
Dübs 3221 1895 8 D 25 Scrapped ./1928
Sharp Stewart 4267 1897 9 F 32 Scrapped ./1929
Sharp Stewart 4268 1897 10 F 33 Withdrawn/scrapped 11/1930, photographed in Singapore scrap yard c1933?
Kitson 3863 1898 11 G 40
Kitson 3864 1898 12 G 41
Kitson 3865 1898 13 G 42
Kitson 3866 1898 14 G 43
Kitson 3984 1901 15 G 44
Kitson 3985 1901 16 G 45
Kitson 4110 1902 17 G 49
Kitson 4111 1902 18 G 50

*These two locomotives were named Lady Weld and Lady Mitchell but which was which has not yet been ascertained.

The name "Lady Dickson" was also carried by a Sungei Ujong locomotive.


The Malayan Railway The 1960s Singapore Railways
1970s 1985 1995 1998 2000 2005
Singapore 1975 Singapore 1976 Singapore 1977 part 1 Singapore 1977 part 2 Singapore 1977 part 3 Singapore Trams
Singapore 2003 Singapore 2007 Singapore 2008
Allan Stanistreet pictures Johore Wooden Railway Muar State Railway
Selangor State Railway Perak State Railway Johore State Railway
Malacca State Railway Sungei Ujong Railway Malaysia 2008

This page created on 27th February 2009.

Updated 9th March 2022

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