The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station building located in Jalan Hishamuddin is one of the most magnificent buildings in Kuala Lumpur. The railway station building complex including the hotel and the railway headquarters comprises two buildings facing each other. Both of these buildings were built simultaneously in 1900's when the railway transportation network was expanding rapidly.
The original railway station, which was also the first railway station, was a simple temporary building of simple wood and roof construction, completed in 1886. It was then. the first railway line between Bukit Kuda, Klang and Kuala Lumpur to be opened. This station was located to the south of the existing station. In 1892, a new building was constructed on the same site to replace the old station.
In tandem with the growth and development of railway transportation system and the city of Kuala Lumpur, a new, better and more suitable building to cater for all needs was constructed on the same site, replacing the two old buildings built in 1886 and 1892.
This new building was designed in 1900 and consists of three railway lines, extensive office space, a waiting room area, a train shed and a hotel. The 30-room hotel, complete with a restaurant is part of the same building. Mr. Hubback, the Acting Architect of the Public Works Department of the Federation of Malaya was given the responsibility designing of the building. Its architectural form is influenced by Islamic elements of the Northern India and Byzantine-Arabian Night Fantasy. The building was officially opened on 1 August 1910.
As a railway station located in the city centre, it has experienced and witnessed many interesting events. Among them was one in 1946, when a rally was held at the railway station to protest and boycott the appointment of Sir Edward Gent as the Governor of the Malayan Union in Malaya. The resistance stemmed from the fact that the Malayan Union would strip the Malay Rulers of their power and the Malays their rights.
In 1962, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was once again thronged by the public. The gathering on 20 January was to welcome the return of His Majesty the King, Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail and the Queen, Tengku Budriah binti Al-Marhum Tengku Ismail after an overseas six-week official visit. Their return, accompanied by Tun Sardon Hj. Jubir and his wife was greeted with red carpet and 21 shots of artillery fire. The arrival of the King and his entourage at the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station from Penang on a dedicated train was greeted by the Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and his wife, the Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak and his wife, Cabinet Ministers, foreign delegates and the people.
In the same year on 17 February, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Selangor Golf Club yet once again were visited by the public to celebrate the return of 510 members of the Malay soldiers from Congo, who had served for 10 months as the world's peacekeeping force. The train ferrying them arrived at 9:15 a.m. from Port Swettenham. The military personnel then lined up at the Selangor Club field for a parade of honour.
At the parade ceremony, the Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Tun Abdul Razak as the Defence Minister greeted `Selamat Kembali' (Welcome Home) to the army personnel for their successful homecoming , albeit three fallen heroes. At the same ceremony, Tun Abdul Razak wished `Selamat Belayar' (Safe Journey) to 926 soldiers from the 7th Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment and a Squadron of the Federal Observer team leaving for Congo.
On 18 July, 1984, a delegation of the General Manager of the Royal State Railways of Siam (RSR ), paid a visit to the Headquarters of the Malayan Railway (KTM) in Kuala Lumpur. The group also acted as a representative of the joint conference between the KTM and the RSR. At the conference, various matters relating to railway matters of the two countries were discussed, including technology, administration and engineering. It was also here in at this Kuala Lumpur railway station that the launching ceremony of a railbus test was held on 23 July 1984. The launch was officiated by the Transport Minister, Tan Sri Chong Hon Nyan. The railbus costing RM1.1 million could accommodate 260 passengers for each trip.
On 7 April 1985, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher had made a short visit to the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. Her visit was greeted by the KTM Ladies Association, the Transport Minister, Tan Sri Chong Hon Nyan and wife, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Puan Rahmah Osman, the General Manager of KTM Dato' Ahmad Badri and wife and the officers and staff of KTM. The delegation was given a ride on the British Railbus from the Kuala Lumpur station to Bangsar.