Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stesen Keretapi Taiping

This is one of the earliest train station in Tanah Melayu. After the British had successfully quelled the feuds for the control of tin mines in Larut, a new town was built to facilitate the local British government. The town was called Taiping. For the export of tin to Penang, the loads of tin were carried by elephants to Port Weld. These trips by elephants would usually took 2- 3 days between Taiping to Port Weld( no proper roads,just jungle path). To improve these transport situation, a rail line was built,which was completed by 1885. With trains, more tin could be carried and the travel time was shortened to a few hours( early locomotives top speed then was 25-30 miles per hour). The original site of the Taiping rail station was situated at which is now the King Edward VII Primary School. The Taiping station was later re-located when the railway line was extended to Ipoh and Butterworth in the 1890's or early 1900's. This station still stands until today. As road transport improved and tin mining around Taiping diminished ,the rail service between Taiping-Port Weld was closed. The tracks remained until they were removed in the mid 1980's. A sad loss for Taiping's heritage. The Port Weld Railway Station now has become a Chinese shop. The platforms has converted to roads by time. Only the small board that says 'PORT WELD' still remains. It is the only railway station sign board in Malaysia that has four languages, English, Jawi (Malay), Chinese and Tamil written on it. It is taken care by the Chinese shop keeper. It seems a lot of money was spent to maintain it (just the board).
The picture and article is taken from

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