Tag Archives: Bukit Timah Railway Station

Green Corridor Run 2013

The Green Corridor, also officially known as the Rail Corridor, was very active today with about 6000 runners. Looking back in time, dating back to the last day of the KTM Railway operations in Singapore, the fate of the Green Corridor was hanging in the balance. Most of us do not know about the exact future and plans for the Green Corridor and it is still currently being discussed and planned by the authorities. At this current juncture, the Green Corridor/Rail Corridor is left as it is (except for Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Bukit TImah Railway Station being closed to the public). It’s a leisure and recreational space for Singaporeans to relax and enjoy.

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When the news regarding the return of the KTM Railway land back to Singapore, I started photographing and documenting the Green Corridor before the last day of the KTM Railway operations, the changes and developments thereafter. It was a humbling and enriching journey since I grew up near the Old Jurong Line at Clementi during my primary school days and my secondary school was beside Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (10 years near/beside the KTM operations). Even though I did not take the KTM trains, they had been a part of my growing up life. Therefore, I had a strong interest in the Green Corridor and would continue to lend my support in terms of photographing and documenting my exploration stories. Do check out my Flickr collection on the Green Corridor.

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The Green Corridor Run was a great idea to push forward the agenda that the Green Corridor to be preserved and used for outdoor recreational activities such as running, cycling and trekking. Starting from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Bukit Timah Railway Station, over a distance of 10.5km, running pass the HDB heartlands and lush greenery along the former KTM Railway tracks route. I confessed that I was planning to sign up and run in the Green Corridor Run 2013 but I didn’t manage to sign up in time when the run reached their quota number of participants. Therefore, I went photographing at different segments of the Green Corridor Run starting from Buona Vista MRT station, overhead bridge near Ghim Moh HDB estate, bridge near Cold Storage Jelita at Holland Road, and finally Bukit Timah Railway Station. It was a sunny day with clear blue skies, while the weather was hot today, it was great for the Green Corridor Run!

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Looking at the number of runners participating in the Green Corridor Run, it was really good to see and feel that Green Corridor has the potential to be a outdoor playground for Singaporeans to enjoy, relax, keep fit and healthy, enjoy the lush greenery and fresh air. The runners also stopped along the route to take photographs for memories sake. At the Bukit Timah Railway Station, the runners were happily taking photographs at the Bukit Timah Railway Station, the partial railway tracks that were preserved and the bridge across Bukit Timah Road/Dunearn Road. There were even people queuing up to take photographs with the Bukit Timah Railway Station signboard!  Nature Society Singapore (NSS) is the official charity partner and I had a good time catching up with the friendly folks from NSS, Kwok Peng and Hang Chong at the end point marquee, along with Eugene Tay from We Support The Green Corridor.

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With a maiden and successful start, let us all make the Green Corridor a haven for everybody to relax, enjoy, exercise, keep fit and healthy, have fun, leisure and recreation among the lush greenery,  conservation and protection of the rich flora and fauna that Green Corridor is part of, the rich heritage, history and culture of the KTM Railway operations in Singapore.

That is why the Green Corridor is very important to Singapore and deserves to be preserved as it is, for the future generations.


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The Rail Corridor Open Day 2012

One year had passed since the final faithful day on the 30th June 2011. The KTM Railway last train pulled away from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, marking a change in the history and timeline of Singapore. Today, there are no more trains operating from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and there were changes to the landscape of the KTM Railway route and train station compound. The railway tracks were removed and returned to the Malaysian Government with some small portions of the railway tracks remaining today.

On the 1st July 2012, the public was once again allowed to revisit the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Bukit Timah Railway Station, rekindling their memorie and passion. Besides that, there were nature walks from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Old Holland Road or towards Tanjong Pagar Railway Station for the more adventurous ones. This wonderful and meaningful event is organised by Friends of the Rail Corridor and Nature Society (Singapore).

I started to look back in time when my friends and myself were exploring, photographing and documenting the KTM Railway and the Old Jurong Railway line,

(Abandoned) Railway Track Photo Walkabout 

– (Abandoned) Railway Track (Part 2) Photo Walkabout 

Railway Track Exploration Part 3 – Bukit Timah To Ten Mile Junction

So Long! Farewell! The Last Train from KTM Tanjong Pagar

A Goodbye (Thank You) Walk to the Railway Tracks

Old Jurong Line Update 1 – Teban Gardens to Sunset Way

Bukit Timah Railway Station to Holland Road (Bridge)

These photojournalistic trekking adventures gave me many beautiful memories and photographs (some were sad too) with my friends who were just as enthusiastic, adventurous and making a difference to document and share the last months leading to the return of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Bukit Timah Railway Station and the railway land/tracks back to Singapore.

On the Rail Corridor Open Day 2012, I trekked along from Bukit Timah Railway Station towards Ghim Moh HDB estate area before  leaving for Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. While I did not trek from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Tanjong Pagar Railway  Station, I might do it one day in the future with my friends. The lush greenery and vegetation were still as beautiful and mostly untouched. The weather was great with clear blue skies and beautiful sunshine. The participants were treated to great sharing on the flora and fauna by the volunteer guides from Nature Society Singapore along with bird watching too!

At the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Open House, the activities started in the afternoon and the visitors were allowed to explore the main hall and platform freely. There were screening of documentaries – Platform 1932, wonderful nostalgic photography and memories sharing by Darren Soh and Jerome Lim. Thereafter, there was also a guided tour on Tanjong Pagar Railway Station architecture and history by Dr Lai Chee Kien. Check out Jerome’s post on the Rail Corridor Open Day too!

I took this wonderful and grateful opportunity to explore and photograph those places that you will most likely unable to access them when the Tanjong Pagar KTM Railway Station was in operation, those of the train operations offices, warehouses, immigration customs booths, and kitchens that served very delicious food. The main hall, the ticket counter, the artwork, the platforms and railway tracks were photographed once again, same old place, quite a lot of difference 1 year later.

At 5pm on 1st July 2012, the metal grille gates to the platform were closed again. However, the metal grille gates “resisted” and seemed that they do not want to be “closed” again, they were not allowing the security officers to close them easily before they were closed tight. This omen was spotted by Jerome, who highlighted to me and it was probably sending a message that the Grand Old Dame, our Tanjong Pagar Railway Station wants to be back to her glory days again. When and how will this happen, change and metamorphosis, the supporters, Friends of the Rail Corridor, Nature Society Singapore and We Support The Green Corridor , would be there to welcome her back in operation (without the trains though)


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Bukit Timah Railway Station to Holland Road (Bridge)

Not too long ago, there were train operations in Singapore, operated by the KTM and running from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station through Bukit Timah Railway Station before heading up towards Woodlands, across the Causeway and travel into Malaysia. With the agreement between Singapore and Malaysia Governments, the KTM Railway Stations and land space were returned back to Singapore  while the tracks were supposed to be removed and returned back to the Malaysia.

During the period leading up to the return and last day of the KTM Railway operations in Singapore, it gained massive interest and following, from taking photographs, trekking along the railway tracks, reminisce of the olden days, public consultation on the future of the Green Corridor and outcry over the removal of the railway tracks. I would not go too much into the details of the happenings and timeline after the return of the KTM Railway, it can probably become a mini thesis of the happenings and follow-ups, public consultations, exhibitions, discussions between different bodies. I had been documenting, photographing and writing on the Green Corridor as much as I could, do check out my The Green Corridor Collection on Flickr!

Map of the Green Corridor Stretch (Bukit Timah Railway Station to Holland Road)  – Maps attributed to OneMap by SLA, http://www.onemap.sg/index.html and CY Leong.

This Green Corridor is now officially known as the Rail Corridor, while the plans and ideas are currently still in discussion, planning and consultation between different bodies, the public and the government, the final plans for the Rail Corridor is still unknown. Most of the Rail Corridor is currently not yet open to the public again, however, there is a 1.4km stretch of station and railway land open to the public from September 16, southwards from the steel bridge along Bukit Timah Road towards Holland Road, that was announced via Channel News Asia. I had been wanting to walk this stretch and see for myself first hand how the changes were really like after the removal of the tracks, the surroundings. My business, time and other personal commitments stalled my plans, finally, I was able to set aside a bit of my time on Boxing Day, to explore this 1.4km stretch.

First and Foremost, with the removal of the railway tracks, some things once removed it will never be the same again. 

The railway tracks were covered up with soil/earth, grass is growing nicely on top of it, although not as natural as the surrounding flora and fauna, it somehow tries to fit into the greenery and surroundings, considering the factors, it’s quite good actually. There was a concern on the greenery, the wildlife and reserve, known as the Clementi Woodlands, being affected by the removal works. From my trek up and down this 1.4km railway land stretch, the damage (if any) looks minimal, the wildlife can be seen and heard, from the birds chirping away, to the dragonflies and fishes inside the small clear flowing stream and pond.

It’s definitely comforting that this stretch of the Rail Corridor still retains the aura, greenery, tranquil and natural beauty, while it’s a real pity that the railway tracks cannot be retained, I sincerely hope that this Rail Corridor or Green Corridor, will stay as a green belt, a green spine that gives Singapore a outdoor recreational and leisure area, for Singaporeans to remember her railway history, heritage and culture, along with space for trekking, running, walking, nature and wildlife studies, cycling. What exact plans/developments will the Rail Corridor be in the future ? We will know it soon in the next few years to come. Do follow We Support The Green Corridor or the Rail Corridor and look out for the updates!

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A Goodbye (Thank You) Walk to the Railway Tracks

On the 31st July 2011, we were all gathered here on that very day morning, at Bukit Timah Railway Station, for a final Goodbye to our KTM Railway Tracks, organised and initiated by the group, We Support The Green Corridor, it was a walk to remember the last bits and pieces of our history and heritage.

 

This was also an opportunity by We Support The Green Corridor group, to thank their supporters who were part of their movement and to continue engaging the supporters for the future of the Green Corridor. As most of the railway tracks were closed to the public after the official handover from the Malaysian Government to the Singapore Government, this was the final stretch of railway tracks there were open to the public for walking. It dawned upon me that this would be the final chance to walk the railway tracks again in its original form, therefore, I joined in with the rest of the supporters there for the Goodbye Walk.

 

It was also an opportunity to finally meet Eugene, the owner of We Support The Green Corridor, we were conversing via emails on this common topic/interest of ours on submission of my posts, photographs of the Green Corridor and referral to joint project/submission with other organisations. Before the walk commenced, Eugene gave a short speech and was also interviewed by the news crew too! He appeared on the evening news that day!

 

This was also a good time to make new friends who were passionate and interested on the Railway Tracks and the Green Corridor belt. Had a good time chatting with Jerome, who was one of the pioneer guys writing and sharing excellent content and photographs of the Railway Tracks and the Green Corridor. I also met CY Leong, the guy who was behind the Green Corridor maps that can be downloaded here, he did a great job! That’s also Judith Tong from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, who interviewed me at the rest point, Ah Mei Cafe at Rail Mall, wonder if I would see my interview transcript somewhere 🙂

 

Along the trek from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Rail Mall, the signs of removal could be seen, nevertheless, we soaked in the atmosphere and enjoyed the greenery, company of friends and tranquility of the railway tracks. As for the changes and damages to the railway tracks and forestation behind, I would leave it in another post to share my views.

While there weren’t many wildlife that morning, we managed to spot the beautiful dragonflies, fishes in the stream and a few birds. Trekking slowly together behind with Judith, Jerome and Jerome’s daughter, we were informing each other to look out for photography opportunities along the Railway Tracks and the Green Corridor.

Since we were a bit slow, we were pretty much the last group of trekkers to reach the railway bridge at Rail Mall, joining up with the rest of the Goodbye Walk trekkers, for a rest and drink, chatting and sharing our Railway Tracks and Green Corridor stories and adventures. In our chat, we were hoping to trek the Old Jurong Line too someday in the future and I would probably be there to help bring them around for a trek! With that, it marks the end of the Goodbye Walk, in depth thoughts and views of some of the developments, discussions and my own personal thoughts on The Green Corridor can be found HERE on my personal blog. Meanwhile, you can check out more photos of the Thank You Walk here on Flickr!

As much as we are sad about the end of the Railway Tracks, let’s welcome The Green Corridor!

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Railway Tracks Exploration Part 3 – Bukit Timah to Ten Mile Junction

In the continuation of my old and active railway tracks exploration, completing Part 1 and Part 2 that forms the Old Abandoned Railway Tracks, it was now Part 3 and I joined an organised outing by Ivan, hiking from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Ten Mile Junction Railway Track road crossing. Meeting at King Albert Park McDonald with Daphne, Jingwen, Wilfred and Ivan, we had our breakfast before starting off on the Bukit Timah Railway Track Bridge and starting our wonderful “science class” trek up North.

The weather was great, hot and sunny, however, it’s the best for trekking and taking photographs. This is part of the Green Corridor, a long stretch of wildlife, flora and fauna and rainforest, that has been recently getting more attention with the “relocation” and eventual of the active railway tracks and train stations. This is part of our adventure, to document, share and spread the awareness of the importance, relevance and significance of preserving (instead of demolishing) and protecting our greenery, wildlife, forests, history and heritage. It’s like our own mini Red Dragonflies movie too!

Trekking up the railway track, passing through the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve segment, even though it cuts through private housing estate and main arterial roads at their sides, the forests and surroundings are still very well preserved and along the railway tracks, we saw a foot path leading into some parts of the rainforest, found bits and pieces of history of Bukit Timah, we found an old well, with lots of algae, this shows the history and heritage of the early days in Bukit Timah area.

Hiking past the foot of Bukit Timah Hill and Nature Reserve, we spotted monkeys (A Word of Caution : Do Not Feed the Monkeys!*) , dead animals and reptiles in the form of bones and semi-decomposed. This shows the natural processes, natural selection and natural laws of our environment, therefore, we shouldn’t be interfering too much into them, destroying Nature is the same as destroying our Home. We had a great time taking photographs, CSI style, with Ivan leading the “class” in Science and Nature field lessons to Daphne, Jingwen and Wilfred.

Continuing up North, reaching another Railway Bridge along Upper Bukit Timah Road, just beside Rail Mall, we all made a pit stop and refuel before continuing up North along the railway tracks. During our hiking journey, we encountered train services traveling North and South on the railway tracks, Word of Caution : Please be very careful and watch out for the trains! The segment from the Rail Mall onwards, is closer to the urban environment and there were less signs of wildlife and we spotted rubbish and dumping, something that is very disappointing.

Finally reaching our Part 3 end point, near to Ten Mile Junction, near to cross junction of Choa Chu Kang Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road, it’s the railway road crossing. Do check out Daphne’s post on her take of Railway Tracks Part 3!

This is an integral part of our history, let’s all spread the awareness and messages across, to preserve the heritage and history, to protect and preserve our Green Corridor.


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Support The Green Corridor

(Abandoned) Railway Track (Part 2) Photography Walkabout

Do you remember my recent abandoned Old Railway Track Part 1? A photography walkabout from Teban Gardens to Sunset Way Railway Bridge? It was a fun, exciting and challenging photography walkabout, searching, documenting and photographing the abandoned Old Railway Tracks of Singapore.

In my Part 2 series of Abandoned Old Railway Tracks, the 2nd leg starts from Sunset Way Railway Bridge, following the Old Railway Tracks along Sunset Way HDB Estate into the Clementi Woodlands before trekking out into the open near the Bukit Timah area, connecting to the active KTM Railway tracks. This stretch of Old Railway Tracks is part of a bigger blueprint of “We Support The Green Corridor“, making lots of effort and awareness tools, sharing and showcasing the need to preserve the greenery, flora and fauna, animals and wildlife residing inside this Green Belt. Trekking through the Clementi Woodlands today, this is something we have to do, to preserve our history, forests, flora and fauna, not just for us, it’s for our future generations.

The trek wasn’t easy due to the muddy terrain, fallen tree trunks, logs and branches, uneven terrain, whereby trekkers might have to climb up and down terrain in order to hike. No doubt it was quite a physical challenge, we were blessed with beautiful greenery, fresh air, wildlife, flowers and tranquility. I was joined by Jingwen and Leon, exploring this stretch of Abandoned Railway  Track Part 2 and it was a fun photography walkabout experience. Due to the nature, intensity and difficulty of this trek, those planning to trek this route, please be prepared for muddy conditions, uneven terrain and natural obstacles. Wearing the appropriate attire and gear (e.g trekking pole) and suitable shoes (e.g. hiking boots) is a MUST if you are planning to trek.

It was great to see history being preserved, the Old Railway tracks surviving the test of time and nature’s growth. Some old icons were spotted, rubbish, littering and pollution can also be spotted along the trek. Let’s spread the word and awareness, let’s keep this beautiful green belt, our unique green corridor, giving us an avenue and area to enjoy greenery and tranquility in our concrete jungle. Trekking out into the active KTM Railway Track, we continued our hike up to Bukit Timah Railway Station, the straight and open Railway Tracks, going to be an integral part of Singapore’s history soon.

Now, I shall let my photographs do the talking ….. Don’t forget to follow “We Support The Green Corridor in Singapore“!


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