A Virtual Train Journey through Sabah

That would be a journey that I would very much like to join. However with the constant changes in the Stamp Issue Schedule, it became untenable and the cost prohibitive.

The Trains in Sabah stamps and Miniature Sheet are well designed and the tabs (gutter) with the station names created a bit of an excitement. Wondering how to match the stations on the tabs?

Welcome then to a virtual journey through the stamps and how the nice stamp station tabs (gutter) can be matched to the various post offices.

Sabah Railway Line

We start with the 60 sen stamp. The brochure listed the train as plying the Halogilat – Rayoh – Pangi – Tenom line. The most concordant of them is Tenom matching to the Tenom Post Office. Halogilat does not have a post office and the nearest (though not that near) is Beaufort. That leaves Rayoh and Pangi which are closer to Tenom.

The 70 sen stamp featured the line that runs between Beaufort – Saliwangan – Halogilat. The best match is again Beaufort with the Beaufort Post Office. The stamp also features the bridge near Beaufort! The bonus is that Beaufort Post Office has the pictorial cancellation. Saliwangan and Halogilat can similarly follow Beaufort.

The 80 sen stamp has a longer run from Tanjung Aru – Putatan – Kinarut – Kawang – Papar – Kimanis – Bongawan – Membakut – Beaufort. Let us start with the obvious, i.e. Tanjong Aru Post Office, Putatan Post Office, Papar Post Office, Bongawan Post Office, Membakut Post Office and Beaufort Post Office! That is quite a nice line-up! But hold on….the 80 sen stamp actually features the Sabah State Mosque in Kota Kinabalu! Thus my preference will be the 80 sen stamp matched with Kota Kinabalu rather than Tanjong Aru, leaving Tanjong Aru for the Miniature Sheet.

That leaves Kinarut where the nearest post office is in Lok Kawi. Kawang can then be matched with Papar. Kimanis should be matched with Bongawan. That completes our matching of the stamp tabs with the neares post offices.

Our last leg is through the RM 5 Miniature Sheet. This train plies the Tanjung Aru – Putatan – Kinarut – Kawang – Papar sector. I have reviewed this sector on the 80 sen stamp, thus it would be your own design on how to cancel the Miniature Sheet. I actually went through this sector a little over a decade back. It was a very scenic train ride. Here are the railway stations’ cancellations that I collected along the route.


So here is the summary of the best match Post Office to the railway stop:

  1. Kota Kinabalu Post Office: 80 sen stamp
  2. Tanjung Aru Post Office: Miniature Sheet, Tanjong Aru Station
  3. Putatan Post Office: Miniature Sheet, Putatan Station
  4. Lok Kawi Post Office: Kinarut Station
  5. Papar Post Office: Miniature Sheet, Kawang and Papar Stations
  6. Bongawan Post Office: Kimanis and Bongawan Stations
  7. Membakut Post Office: Membakut Station
  8. Beaufort Post Office: 70 sen stamp, Beaufort, Saliwangan and Halogilat Stations
  9. Tenom Post Office: 60 sen stamp, Rayoh, Pangi and Tenom Stations

The best way to get the cancellations is by driving and at least 2 persons should be on the drive as it is a long journey but worth the excitement. Not all the post offices are the near the train stations!

Hope this summary helps your navigation. I guess you have also learned a great deal of the geographical location of the towns in the west and central Sabah!

It would have been doubly exciting if Pos Malaysia reintroduce the Train Mails of North Borneo / Sabah.


If anyone is planning the concordant covers, hope you can make a spare and sell me. I am of course keen on anything concordant.

Meanwhile, have a safe drive and happy chopping!



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