Many Penang people today may not know that this building was once the Malayan Railway Building (yes, there used to be a railway station on the island). The building currently known as Wisma Kastam houses the state Customs Department. It was formerly the Malayan Railway Building located alongside trading offices and warehouses built in the 20th century.
Back then, the Malayan Railway Building was believed to be the only railway station in the world without a rail. Hence, instead of having platforms or trains, the station had administrative offices, a ticketing booth and a first-class Railways Restaurant with Bar and Grill. Passengers would be buying their tickets (which would include the ferry fees) at the station and then boarded the Railway Ferry Steamers to the mainland to catch the train.