Trains are essential for Malaysian economy. Moreover, they, especially the old ones, comprise the history of this state that is why their importance for Malaysia is beyond the doubt.
StrampNews.com is glad to introduce four new stamps released by Pos Malaysia Bhd that honor Sabah trains, which are still in service today.
The collection, called Trains in Sabah, features Hitachi diesel locomotive (60 sen), as well as the railbus (70 sen) and the diesel multiple unit (80 sen) operated by the Sabah State Railway, the only railway operator in Borneo.
The Vulcan steam locomotive was given the top honour by being featured as a RM5 miniature sheet.
The network managed by Sabah State Railway consists of a single 134km line from Tanjung Aru, near Kota Kinabalu, to Tenom in the Interior Division.
Formerly known as North Borneo Railway, the network began construction in 1896 under British engineer Arthur J. West.
"Stamp issues featuring trains have always been a popular theme worldwide. In Malaysia, and Sabah in particular, trains have played an important role in building the economy, transportation and even helped Kota Kinabalu to achieve city status", said Pos Malaysia CEO Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh in his statement.
This is the third time that Pos Malaysia is featuring trains on its stamps, with the first in 1988 with the arrival of the Putra and Star LRT, as well as KTM Komuter services in Klang Valley. The second attempt was in 2010 to mark 125 years of Malayan railway.
According to Pos Malaysia's philately unit head, Diyana Lean Abdullah, the Sabah train collection has two special features that are of interest to collectors.
The first is the pair of elliptical perfs on the miniature sheet, and the second is the presence of a tab in the centre of the 18-stamp sheet that shows illustrations of the Sabah train stations.