Photographer's Note

The Kuala Lumpur railway station is a railway station located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Construction began in 1910 and was fully completed in 1917. It replaced an older station on the same site, the station was Kuala Lumpur's railway hub in the city for the Federated Malay States Railways and its successor Keretapi Tanah Melayu (English: Malayan Railways), before Kuala Lumpur Sentral assumed much of its role in 2001. The station is notable for its architecture, adopting a mixture of Eastern and Western designs.

The station is located along a road named Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, previously known as Victory Avenue, which in turn was part of Damansara Road. The station is located closely to the similarly designed Railway Administration Building, as well as the National Mosque and Dayabumi Complex. The Pasar Seni station is located 400 metres away, across the Klang River.

rthur Benison Hubback, a British Architectural Assistant to the Director of Public Works, undertook the design of the station. He incorporated the unique Anglo-Asian architecture in the region on the station's design. The "Neo-Moorish/Mughal/Indo-Saracenic/Neo-Saracenic" style was not uncommon at the time. Similar structures, such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (credited to A.C. Norman but largely designed by R.A.J. Bidwell, completed 1897), the Old City Hall (designed by A.B. Hubback, completed 1904) and the Jamek Mosque (designed by A.B. Hubback, completed 1909), pre-date Kuala Lumpur station.

At a cost of $23,000, the station was completed and operational on 1 August 1910. After the demolition of Resident Station and the isolation of Sultan Street station, the Kuala Lumpur station became the main railway station in Kuala Lumpur. A railway hotel, the Station Hotel (later renamed the Heritage Station Hotel in 1996), occupied the northern sections of the central station and the upper floors of the station, boasting 170 rooms and an ornate lobby housing Charlies Restaurant & Bar as off the late-2000s. In 1995, access to KTM Komuter services was introduced at the station.

The interior of the station's main hall was refurbished in 1986, which saw some of its original interiors altered and modernised. The area is now used to house exhibits (such as this model of a carriage) after the station was designated a railway museum.
After the diversion of long-distance intercity rail traffic less than a kilometer south to Kuala Lumpur Sentral on 15 April 2001, the original station's importance diminished. While intercity trains continue to pass the station, they no longer stop there, relegating the station to being a stop for Komuter and goods services. As a result of declining passenger traffic and patronage, redundant station facilities, such as manned ticket counters for intercity services, station offices and rented businesses spaces, were decommissioned or slowly vacated.

The Heritage Station Hotel ceased operation in 2011 following declining patronage and a series of mismanaged renovations in the late-2000s; the hotel was briefly reopened in 2014 before closing the same year.

While the side platforms of the original station, which have already been raised to a leveled height for smooth embarking and disembarking for intercity coaches, were readily usable from KTM Komuter trains, the configuration of the island platform and access to services in the first 15 years of the Komuter's service meant that the original station could not be maximised for use as a transportation stop for electric trains until 2009 renovations raised the last of the original platforms.

In the months leading up to 31 August 2007, the 50th anniversary of Malaya's independence, various sources reported the transfer of various old railway equipment from a railway warehouse in Klang and a few other locations to the old Kuala Lumpur station.

Today the whole building complex shows serious signs of decay and years of neglect, new ultr-modern highrise towers are popping up around this once majestic colonial-age building.

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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 0 N: 660] (2608)
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