TRANSIT notes this article in the NST, which states that the old JB train station will become a train museum once train services are transferred to the new JB Sentral complex at the end of July 2010. It is expected that the museum would open in the last quarter of 2010.
6 June 2010
The 80-year-old Johor Baru train station will call it a day by the end of next month when it will be turned into a train museum, the largest of its kind in the country.
Once the station is closed, all train operations here will be shifted to JB Sentral, a stone’s throw away, which is the transport hub in the city centre.
Preparation and renovation works will pave the way for the opening of the museum, scheduled for the last quarter of the year.
Visitors will see old and rare railway exhibits.
Among them will be the token and signal systems, log books, seats, as well as uniforms of railway workers used from the day Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd started operations.
KTMB southern region manager Tariq Umar Mohamed said this will be the second museum of its kind after the Kuala Lumpur station, which opened to the public in 2006, and occupies the space of two rooms. “However, the Johor Baru train museum will occupy the whole complex and feature more exhibits. It is set to become a new tourist attraction in the city centre,” he said.
Tariq said the museum was KTMB’s idea, adding that the building will have a cafeteria for the convenience of visitors .
The existing Johor Baru station, at Jalan Tun Razak, was built in 1931 at a cost of RM75,900 by Swan & Mac Larden, which also built the Johor Baru South police station and the Johor Baru courthouse.
Prior to that, from 1917, all the train services operated from a small wooden building near the station.
The architectural design of the double-storey station is colonial in style. In the early days, guest rooms were on the top floor.
“Today, they are used for administrative purposes.
The Johor Baru station is the last stop before Singapore. Its nearest station to the north is at the Danga City Mall, 2km away.
Sometimes it is sad to see changes – but we hope that this change will be a very positive one for KTMB.
The old JB station is well-located, at the east end of the small ‘town centre’ of Johor Baru. Unfortunately, the design of the carpark isolates it from the street and discourages people from walking in.
If the building is to be successful as a museum, the best solution is to remove the train tracks behind the station and turn that area into a car park, and reconnect the station area with Jalan Tun Razak in front.
TRANSIT notes that many changes have already taken place to place KTMB on track to a better future – and at the same time, we must remember the KTMB of the past and learn from the experience of building railways, providing connections and links between communities and even countries.
TRANSIT hopes that the old KTM station at Tanjung Pagar, which is to be kept as part of any future development, could be used to house an expanded Joint Land Transport Gallery that showcases the strong transport connections between Malaysia and Singapore – reminding us that these two countries are, and will always be, friends and neighbours.