The first railway line in Malaya was built in 1869 by the ambitious Maharaja Abu Bakar of Johor. Two decades later, the British built an extensive network to facilitate the transport of tin, and later rubber, to the ports. This network remains in use today as a passenger line, stitching together three corners of the peninsula.
For more than a century, the railways have remained a mainstay in the lives of all Malaysians, a romantic symbol of travel to exotic destinations, and of power, industry and modernisation. Trains stirred a sense of wonder in the hearts of all who ever saw one; be it railwaymen, passengers, and or those who watched it pass by.
Newly electrified lines and proposed high speed railway lines are fast changing the railway landscape. These improvements bring much needed change to those who rely on it the most, but also risk dismantling the long and rich heritage of the railways.
Projek Keretapi Kita began in 2016 to document the southern line between Gemas and Tanjong Pagar. The project has been completed and is now available here. We are currently working on researching railway heritage in Japan and Southeast Asia.