110-year-old Sentul Depot opens doors to public

The historical Sentul Depot has been given a new lease of life as an event space. — Pix by Yusof Mat Isa
The historical Sentul Depot has been given a new lease of life as an event space. — Pix by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — The once neglected Sentul Depot with a history dating back to 1905 is set to open this weekend, just in time for the Malaysia Day celebrations.

The 200,000-square-foot building, located in Sentul West and a stone’s throw away from the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, is the biggest railway depot in the country despite being unused.

The heritage building will open its doors to the public the very first time with the popular Riuh bazaar to mark the railway depot’s unveiling.

From left: YTL Land and Development Bhd managing director Datuk Victor Yeoh Seok Kian, YTL Land executive director Yeoh Pei Teeng, Riuh chief operating officer Melissa Low and Grab Malaysia country head of marketing Iris Chang at the unveiling of Sentul Depot.
From left: YTL Land and Development Bhd managing director Datuk Victor Yeoh Seok Kian, YTL Land executive director Yeoh Pei Teeng, Riuh chief operating officer Melissa Low and Grab Malaysia country head of marketing Iris Chang at the unveiling of Sentul Depot.

Owned by YTL Land & Development Bhd, Sentul Depot played a vital role in the Federated Malay States Railway.

It housed engineering workshops and served as a storage and maintenance centre for steam and diesel locomotives as well as railway cars.

Until 2009, it was used to store retired locomotive parts.

In its glory days, it employed 5,000 railway workers and manufactured train parts for India’s railway system.

“In those days (British Malaya) we were building our own coaches and wagons and we had the technical expertise.

“The sad part is after the electric train was introduced in Malaysia, the workers were retrenched and this depot became derelict,” said YTL Land & Development Bhd managing director Datuk Victor Yeoh Seok Kian.

The popular Riuh bazaar will be held at Sentul Depot this weekend.
The popular Riuh bazaar will be held at Sentul Depot this weekend.

The 110-year-old train depot is just one component of YTL Land’s urban renewal masterplan for Sentul and the public can look forward to more events from now on.

“Sentul suffered a bad reputation for many years and the challenge was changing the identity of Sentul,” said Yeoh.

“The public can rent Sentul Depot for events but it has to be in line with our vision — culture, arts, music and as a platform for young people to showcase their talents.”

The curated creative bazaar, in collaboration with Grab, features Malaysian vendors ranging from food stalls, traditional and modern apparels, fine jewellery and books.

 

 

Participating homegrown brands include The Straits Finery, Batik Tektura, Tiny Forest, Amazin’ Grace and Kakiseni, and there will be cultural dances and workshops.

The Riuh x Grab Malaysia Day weekend will be held on Saturday and Sunday, from 11am to 9pm at Sentul Depot, Sentul West.

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