The station building in Kuala Lumpur reminds one of a mosque rather than a railway station. It is a typical example of eclectic Neo-Moorish architecture, with shell eaves, small, round arches, minarets and domes.
The station was built in 1910, according to the design by British architect Arthur Benison Hubback, on the site of the demolished former Resident station. Hubback used his extensive knowledge of architecture, as well as his former experience, gained partly in India. This gave rise to a new building, combining elements of many styles, both: Western, especially British, and Eastern.
Initially, the station consisted of the main building and three raised platforms serving four railway lines, joined by two underground corridors. In the second half of the 20th century the station underwent several serious modifications. In 1967, the west wing was adapted for offices, while in 1986 the station was enlarged and modernised, both inside and outside. An air-conditioned waiting room, tourist information office and numerous bars were introduced at that time. The south wing was also extended, and part of the station was taken by the Heritage Station hotel, where some of the original architectural decorations were preserved. Further modifications were introduced in 1995, when Kuala Lumpur lines became electrified, and the station started serving suburban railway, KTM Komuter.
Until 2001 the station was the main and the most important railway junction in Kuala Lumpur. Then the modern Kuala Lumpur Sentral railway station was built, taking over most connections (especially international ones). Therefore, some station facilities were withdrawn. The station still operates certain suburban railway lines and freight carriages.
Due to diminished importance, in 2007 a Railway Museum was opened in the main hall and on some platforms, gathering a range of exhibits related to railway from all over the country. Currently, the idea of creating a modern cultural centre in the station building is being discussed.