Ipoh railway station

Last updated
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad Logo.svg
Other names怡保 (Chinese)
Location30100 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Owned by Keretapi Tanah Melayu
Line(s) KTM ETS
Platforms1 side platform
1 island platform
ParkingAvailable, two zones owned by KTMB parking system and the Ipoh City Council respectively
Disabled accessYes
Preceding station  Keretapi Tanah Melayu (ETS) Following station
towards  Padang Besar
ETS Transit
towards  Gemas

The Ipoh railway station is a Malaysian train station located at the south-western side of and named after the capital city of Ipoh, Perak. It serves as the main railway terminal for the state under Keretapi Tanah Melayu offering KTM ETS services, as well as handling freight trains. Although there are 9 tracks, only four are electrified and three of the electrified tracks are used for the ETS service. The remaining 6 other tracks are used for freight trains.

Malaysia Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.

Train station Railway facility where trains regularly stop to load or unload passengers and/or freight

A train station, railway station, railroad station, or depot is a railway facility or area where trains regularly stop to load or unload passengers or freight. It generally consists of at least one track-side platform and a station building (depot) providing such ancillary services as ticket sales and waiting rooms. If a station is on a single-track line, it often has a passing loop to facilitate traffic movements. The smallest stations are most often referred to as "stops" or, in some parts of the world, as "halts".

Ipoh City and State Capital in Perak, Malaysia

Ipoh is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Perak. Located by the Kinta River, it is nearly 180 km (110 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur and 123 km (76 mi) southeast of George Town in neighbouring Penang. As of 2010, Ipoh contained a population of 657,892, making it the third largest city in Malaysia by population.


Designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, the current station was officially opened in 1917. Affectionately known as the Taj Mahal of Ipoh by its locals, [1] the building also houses a station hotel called the Majestic Hotel.

Arthur Benison Hubback was an English architect and soldier who designed several important buildings in British Malaya. He was active in sports, especially football and cricket. Hubback was promoted to brigadier general during his service in the British Army.

Taj Mahal Marble mausoleum in Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan, the builder. The tomb is the centerpiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

Early history

The first Ipoh station was constructed in 1894 as railway tracks for the Perak Railway (PR) were first laid along Ipoh, serving the town for 20 years through the final years of the PR and its consolidation into the Federated Malay States Railways (FMSR).

The Federated Malay States Railways (FMSR) was a consolidated railroad operator in British Malaya during the first half of the 20th century. Named after the then recently formed Federated Malay States in 1896 and founded five years after the formation of the federation, the company acquired various railways that were developed separately in various parts of Malaya, and oversaw the largest expansion and integration of the colonies' rail network encompassing the Federated Malay States, the Unfederated Malay States and the Straits Settlements, with lines spanning from Singapore to the south to Padang Besar to the north.

In 1914, construction of a second station and hotel to replace the first station began; dogged by material shortages and escalating costs of labour during the Great War, the station was only completed in 1917. The new double-storey station building was constructed with vastly larger space to not only house railway offices, but also Majestic Hotel, an enclose hotel that also boasted a restaurant and a bar. Originally offering 17 bedrooms which directly grant access to the second floor loggia, the hotel upgraded its number of rooms to 21 in 1936.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Station building main building of a passenger railway station

A station building, also known as a head house, is the main building of a passenger railway station. It is typically used principally to provide services to passengers.

Loggia covered exterior gallery

A loggia is an architectural feature which is a covered exterior gallery or corridor usually on an upper level, or sometimes ground level. The outer wall is open to the elements, usually supported by a series of columns or arches. Loggias can be located either on the front or side of a building and are not meant for entrance but as an out-of-door sitting room.

For over 80 years, through the operational years of the FMSR and its eventual successor, Malayan Railways, the station's overall layout has remained largely unchanged since its construction due to minimal upgrading exercises throughout the wider Peninsular Malaysian railway network.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Malaysian rail operator

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM) or Malayan Railways Limited is the main rail operator in Peninsular Malaysia. The railway system dates back to the British colonial era, when it was first built to transport tin. Previously known as the Federated Malay States Railways (FMSR) and the Malayan Railway Administration (MRA), Keretapi Tanah Melayu acquired its current name in 1962. The organisation was corporatised in 1992, but remains wholly owned by the Malaysian government. Fares are generally reasonable.


Closeup of the Ipoh station's station building facade, depicting its ornate construction and scale relative to parked road vehicles. Ipoh railway station.jpg
Closeup of the Ipoh station's station building facade, depicting its ornate construction and scale relative to parked road vehicles.

Like many early stations built under Perak Railway, the 1894 station's construction was rudimentary, consisting of a single-storey wooden structure with massive pitched tiled roofs and an overall open air layout.

The 1917 station's design was conceptualised by Arthur Benison Hubback, a British architectural assistant to the Director of Public Works credited for designing various public buildings in British Malaya in various vernacular colonial Western styles as well as "Neo-Moorish/Mughal/Indo-Saracenic/Neo-Saracenic" styles that draw influences from British Indian colonial architecture. In contrast to the Kuala Lumpur railway station, the Ipoh station's exterior is more distinctively Western in design, drawing elements of late-Edwardian Baroque architecture and incorporating moderate rustication on the base of the ground floor, opened pointed and arched pediments, extensive use of engaged columns, and a large central dome over the porte-cochère , while integrating vernacular elements such as deep, open air loggias into the ground floor and upper floor of the building (the ground floor's loggia measures at 183 metres, the length of the station's frontage). In spite of its overall aesthetics, elements of Indo-Saracenic architecture are still found in the form of miniature chhatris towering over corner support columns on both sides of the structure.

British Malaya Former set of states on Malay Peninsula

The term "British Malaya" loosely describes a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries. Unlike the term "British India", which excludes the Indian princely states, British Malaya is often used to refer to the Malay States under indirect British rule as well as the Straits Settlements that were under the sovereignty of the British Crown.

Kuala Lumpur railway station railway station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Kuala Lumpur railway station is a railway station located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Completed in 1910 to replace 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, 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.

Edwardian Baroque architecture Neo-Baroque architectural style of many public buildings built in the British Empire during the Edwardian era

Edwardian Baroque is the Neo-Baroque architectural style of many public buildings built in the British Empire during the Edwardian era (1901–1910).

The 1917 station originally boasted three platforms; one side platform and two island platforms connected by underground tunnels, with steel-and-wood pitched canopies as shelter.

Electrification and reconstruction

As part of KTM's double tracking and electrification project between Ipoh and Rawang, the Ipoh station was significantly renovated over the course of the 2000s. The most dramatic change is the total rebuilding of the platform area, which composed of new platforms levelled to the height of train carriage entrances, as well as accommodation for newly laid double track and overhead lines; the upgrade also replaced the original underground tunnels between platforms and canopies with an overhead bridge and a curving steel-framed train shed, although the platforms' original wooden benches were retained in the process. Although some interior refurbishment on portions of the ground floor of the main building were also conducted, remaining elements of the station building, including the station's Majestic Hotel, were preserved. The overhaul was completed in October 2007, three months before the conclusion of railway electrification between Ipoh and Rawang.

Ipoh Station Square and Ipoh cenotaph

The Ipoh station is fronted by a large square known as the Ipoh Station Square. For much of its early history the square is a lawn sparsely lined with trees; a garden park was eventually built over the site over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, incorporating heavier vegetation, tiled and paved pathways, and a plaza containing sculptures and fountains. Between 2011 and 2013 the entire square was heavily stripped and rebuilt as an open plaza featuring minimalist terraces, and wider open lawn patches. The reconstructed square is rebranded as the "Ipoh Heritage Square", serving as the starting point of the Ipoh heritage trail.

The square is also prominent for a cenotaph erected in the centre. Unveiled during the 1927 Armistice Day, the stone brick cenotaph was built to honour men from Perak who have died in the Great War. The cenotaph has subsequently been modified with new plaques to honour fallen soldiers from Perak in World War II, the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesian confrontation and the "Re-insurgency Period". As a result of the cenotaph's location the square has been a long-time local venue for Remembrance Day and Anzac Day. Some earlier plaques have been removed and replaced in an intervening change; the original brass plaque for the Great War dead has been restored although it is reinstalled on a different side of the cenotaph while several decorative brass parts have remained missing; to counter further vandalism the brass plaque has been covered with protective plastic shielding. A more recent addition is a memorial plaque that pays tribute to combatant and non-combatant prisoners of war who died building the Thailand–Burma Railway.

The cenotaph, along with a matured Ipoh tree planted in 1980, are some of the few elements of the Ipoh Station Square that were preserved during the 2011—2013 rebuild.

See also

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  2. "Anna and the King (1999); Filming & Production". IMDB. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  3. Yong, Tiffany (18 September 2014). "7 Must-See Attractions in Perak, Malaysia". Tripzilla. Retrieved 9 March 2018.

Coordinates: 4°35′50″N101°04′24″E / 4.59722°N 101.07333°E / 4.59722; 101.07333