Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was built in 1910, replacing an older building on site. Above the railway station was the Station Hotel. My family and I happened to stay a few days at the Station Hotel while we were in transit and while we waited for our father to come down to Kuala Lumpur (probably from the north). We had sailed from Port Jesselton to Collyer Quay in Singapore, and taken the train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. It must be from the old train station in Singapore, not Woodlands but the other one, Tanjung Pagar, which is now closed down.

I remember the Station Hotel's black and white interior decor and the delicious meals. The place upstairs was spacious, clean, airy and bright, but a bit bare (luas dan kosong). I loved the place as a kid.

I was going though my grandfather's photograph collection and came across a small dirty photograph of the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. It was probably in 1937, as most of his photographs were from that period, when he worked in Kuala Lumpur. His photograph of the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is badly stained yellow and I had to clean both the photoprint before scanning. I will need to search for it again.

The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station building today is a bit different and doesn't look as attractive as before. It was the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station that pushed me into liking architecture for life but I never took up architecture as a major at any university. I only kept architecture as a lifetime hobby.

Only five of my relatives have had something to do with the railways:
  1. My granduncle Tan Sri Dr Abdul Majid's father worked in the repair section of the railway yard in Kuala Lumpur. He died of malaria during the war. 
  2. My uncle Pak Saleh worked as Chief Auditor at the railway office across from the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. He is retired and has just moved to his new house in Sentul. 
  3. My aunt Esther (Jeffrey's mother) worked as an accountant in the railway office. She is retired and has recovered from heart surgery. 
  4. My mother's uncle was a 'train engine driver'; according to my mother, he had blue eyes and a pink face, he was pink. I think he was probably an albino guy. He was named Uncle Osman. 
  5. My maternal grandfather Dr Che Lah bin Md Joonos worked as a doctor at the Malayan Railway Administration after the war.

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