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Railways in


(Brunei Darussalam)

Loading pier of the Brunei LNG plant
Loading pier of the Brunei LNG plant at Lumut.

The first railway in Brunei opened in 1880s to connect the Brooketon Coal Mine with the port of Muara, a distance of about 2.5km. Initially a wooden tramroad, steel rails were added in the early 1890s to allow the use of steam locomotives. Two special locomotives were constructed with a low profile and the unusual narrow gauge of 2ft 4in (711mm) to enable their use in the mine galleries. The mine and its railway closed in 1924. A number of relics remain, although largely inaccesible owing to the return of heavy natural undergrowth. There are proposals to turn the site into an open air museum.

In the early 1930s Royal Dutch Shell (now Brunei Shell Petroleum) constructed a 600mm gauge railway connecting its Seria refinery with a water pumping station at Badas, a distance of about 19km. It carried water and construction materials. During World War II, the line was dismantled and equipment hidden to keep it safe from invading Japanese forces. Following the liberation of the island of Borneo in 1945, the railway was rebuilt by Australian forces. It continued in use for some time afterwards, according to some reports until the early yearsof the 21st century. A road now follows the route between Seria and Badas and some of the track is believed to be still in place.

In the early 1970s, Brunei LNG opened a liquefied natural gas plant in Lumut, with a 4km pier serving an ocean going tanker loading point. As well as gas pipelines, the pier incorporates a 1533mm gauge railway for the transfer of personnel and equipment.

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