Did You Know That The 112-Year-Old Sentul Depot Was Bombed In World War II?
Long before Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) commuters and light rail transit (LRTs) existed, steam and diesel locomotives were used to transport goods in Malaysia
Back in 1905, Sentul Depot in KL was made up of interlinked large brick buildings and metal sheds, where these locomotives and railway carriages were housed.
It was also a vital space for engineering workshops, including assembly and servicing of railway carriages.
In fact, the 112-year-old buildings were supposedly known as the largest integrated engineering workshops in the world!
Sentul Depot was built by the Federated Malay States Railways (FMSR) and had employed as many as 5,000 railway workers.
Sawmills, foundries, and other workshops at the depot manufactured the majority of parts needed by the country's railway industry.
In its heyday, the depot even built train parts that were supplied to help India's railway sector.
The first locomotive to enter public service on a railway in Malaya was called the FMSR 1 and it was at Perak State Railway
According to Malayan Railways, the photo below was probably taken at Sentul before the FMSR 1 was converted into a coal-burning locomotive.
It was used as a shunter at Sentul until its retirement in 1916 and was disassembled in 1920.
Seeing as it was a crucial focal point for the Japanese occupation, Sentul Depot was heavily raided by B-29 bombers during World War II (WWII)
Although the workshops were partially rebuilt after, the buildings never regained their status, and most of them were left in shambles.
Malaysian photographer Patrick Heart managed to capture remnants of the colonial railway buildings before they were given new life.
Until the early 2000s, Sentul Depot was still used to house decommissioned KTM trains before the iconic landmark was revived in later years
It was closed down in 2009 when operations were moved to Batu Gajah, Perak.
In 2018, YTL Land decided to restore the stunning structures of the century-old workshops back to their former glory.
The site now sits as an event space for festivals, concerts, bazaars, and other cultural and artistic events.