Tag Archives: Clementi Railway

Clementi Heartlands Instawalk

Our Singapore (SG) Heartlands, the places that we lived in and grew up in, something close to our hearts, minds and souls. While Singapore is a small country in size, our various Housing Development Board (HDB) Housing Estates does have its own unique characteristics and community. It can be an interesting adventure to walk around various HDB estates heartlands and explore the area, especially when they have a mix of older and younger generation HDB blocks of flats. There was a recent project: MND Heartlands by Ministry of National Development, a social media campaign to encourage Singaporeans to explore the places and spaces around them. There were a few heartland walks around Singapore recently too and when I received news that fellow photographer Weili organised a Heartlands Instawalk to my Clementi Heartlands, and Aik Beng was going to lead the Heartlands Instawalk into my heartland Clementi estate, I came forward to help out Weili and Aik Beng in bringing them around my Clementi heartlands.

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Clementi Heartlands is interesting with a mix of older and new HDB blocks, with beautiful greenery near the Sungei Ulu Pandan and Ulu Pandan Park Connector. We met nearby at the Clementi MRT Station and proceed walking up towards Clementi Avenue 4, through the Clementi Community Centre. Along the way, Aik Beng shared a lot on mobile photography tips to the participants, highlighting to them the things/perspectives to look out for. I wasn’t too actively taking photographs on my iPhone 5 and uploading onto Instagram nor taking many photographs with my Canon DSLR. Since I was helping Aik Beng in leading the Clementi Heartlands Instawalk, I had to spend more time leading and looking after the group of participants! I double up as a historian for the walk because this is my Heartlands for 30+ years! Nevertheless, it was fun and enjoyable, something that I enjoyed doing it and used to organise such walks for friends last time!

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Upon reaching Sungei Ulu Pandan and Ulu Pandan Park Connector, we walked along the Park Connector and they could view the Sunset Way Old Railway Bridge and the greenery surrounding the Clementi Heartlands. A major highlight of the Clementi Heartlands Instawalk was to visit the Clementi Community Farm for Clementi Residents and to see the community heartlands active in farming and community activities. The Clementi Residents were very friendly and shared with the participants about their produces they were growing. The participants spent a bit of time there to look around the community farm and the former KTM Railway tracks that once passed through the Clementi Heartlands.

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Walking to our next destination, the newest segment of Clementi HDB heartlands, the Casa Clementi HDB blocks at Clementi Avenue 1 there were recently completed and the new tenants moving over to stay in them. We had a bit of a slow walk from Clementi Avenue 4 to Clementi Ave 1, through the various void decks, a distinct feature of the heartlands. We also came across a bird singing competition around Blocks 332 and 333, another unique heartlands activity! The participants reached Casa Clementi and had a view of the newest HDB blocks of flats, the designs and the beautiful roof top garden for the residents of Casa Clementi and come down to relax and have fun!

The SG Heartlands is something unique and special in its own sense, spaces and surroundings. Do go out and explore your Heartlands in your own neighbourhood and the other SG Heartlands in Singapore as well! The SG Heartlands is where we learn, collect and compile our history, heritage, culture, landscape and memories of our past and for our future. Take many photographs of SG Heartlands, remember to tag #SGHeartlands and share them!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Old Jurong Line Update 2 – Community Gardens Farm at Clementi

The Community Gardens Farm at Clementi, located in the heart of Old Jurong Line, part of the KTM Railway networks in Singapore’s history when the KTM Railway networks were operating into the Jurong Industrial estate. I promised to share and update about the new Community Farm in Clementi since I lived not too far away from the area and I grew up studying in the Primary School with the Old Jurong Line behind my Primary School! I used to remember playing nearby there when I was a Primary School kid!

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I went for the Old Jurong Line trek with a group of like-minded people from the We Support The Green Corridor community, trekking from Teban Gardens to Sunset Way. There were a number of changes along the Old Jurong Line, in some segments, it’s totally gone forever, changed into modern roads, viaducts and flyovers. Today’s update will be the Clementi Avenue 4 segment of the Old Jurong Line that were in the limelight with the community gardens farm appearing and the former facilities around the community garden farms were gone forever. The community farm at Clementi was officially opened on 3rd March 2013 and you can check out the news report here!

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Having saw the transformation from clearing the former farming land to the community farm at Clementi, there were mixed feelings initially. Balancing both sides of the stories from the residents complaints and having been there for myself, I can understand where the decision was made to change it to the community farming concept. This is probably a Win-Win situation for all parties and stakeholders out there, while it lost part of her history, we can see that majority of the greenery are still preserved and intact around the community farming area. In my personal opinion, that is definitely better than clearing the green belt and building concrete blocks, buildings etc. Moreover, the community farming at Clementi can help to reach out to the residents and nearby communities in different ways such as the outdoors experiences, community bonding, teaching the younger generation on farming, gardening, leisure and recreational aspects of it.

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The rest of the greenery, heritage and history of the Old Jurong Line are still intact around the Clementi area. Let’s hope that they continue to keep this status quo and not destroy our history and heritage of the KTM Railway networks and Singapore’s growth history. This is a beautiful area with the Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector running parallel beside it and a rich greenery and wildlife habitat connecting to the Clementi Woodlands, you can check out Nature Society Singapore (NSS) Green Corridor Report for more details. It’s a thriving green community with a number of wildlife spotted around there and a place for Singaporeans to rest, relax, exercise, enjoy the outdoors and to keep fit and healthy!

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Here’s my Green Corridor Photos Collection that I took over a period of time. The Green Corridor is really a beautiful and wonderful green space. Let’s keep it this way!

Old Jurong Line Update 1 – Teban Gardens to Sunset Way

On a lovely Sunday morning 18th September 2011, a group of like minded supporters of We Support The Green Corridor, assembled in front of blk 41 Teban Gardens Road, geared up and ready to trek the Old Jurong Line from Teban Gardens to Sunset Way, organised by Eugene from We Support The Green Corridor, with guides Kum Seng, Kwok Peng & Chee Kien, leading this trek and there were lots of sharing on the bio-diversity, flora, fauna, history and heritage of the Old Jurong Line.

This was my 2nd trek along this particular stretch, check out my 1st trekking adventure here! As we started walking along the defunct track from Teban Gardens, there were no more railway tracks, with only the evidence of the small valley on the sides of the ridge lines, that indicates where the tracks were passing through previously. The community farming along those tracks still remain strong and healthy and I hope that this will stay for as long as it can!

After walking through the tunnel, the group did not bash through the thick vegetation, whereby the old railway tracks continued towards Sunset Way. We hiked along the expressway and walked towards Sungei Ulu Pandan Park Connector, reaching the old metal railway bridge across the river. Along the expressway, we can see construction going on in the vegetation and it’s disappointing to see beautiful wildland destroyed for commercialisation.

The old metal bridge was sealed up on both ends  and I sincerely hope that it will be open back to the public soon, just like before,, to its original beauty, aura and heritage. Continuing towards Faber Heights, more evidence of the old railway tracks being removed and only bits and pieces of the Old Jurong Line remains today, the rusty metal plates, hooks, bolts and nuts, along with their thick wooden blocks. This stretch of the Old Jurong Line is being transformed into something else, building a new access road for the Faber Heights estate (Faber Walk) to Commonwealth Avenue West, in anticipation of the increase in traffic demand arising from new developments around the areas nearby.

While we can still spot the old railway tracks hidden away in the lush greenery, we are blocked away by construction that is beginning to seal up the fate of the old railway tracks. Begun the loss of the Old Jurong Line Railway Tracks it has ! It’s just like a knife slicing through the heart and soul of the greenery, history and heritage.

Continuing our walk towards Clementi, whereby the beauty of the Old Railway tracks remained untouched in its original state, living hand in hand, in harmony with the community  farming, temples and green space. Due to the closure of the Sunset Way Railway Bridge, the group stopped their walk at the Clementi Avenue 4 and 6 woodlands area. Check out more photos here ! Do drop by my Green Corridor Collection on my Flickr!

We call can make a difference to the history and heritage of Singapore. Let’s all come together to share our stories and thoughts, contribute our ideas and inspirations, to make Singapore a better home for our future generations!

 

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

 

(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“!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

(Abandoned) Railway Track Photo Walkabout

The KTM Malaysian Railway Lines in Singapore, goes back quite a long way in history in time and it’s an important and integral part of the history of Singapore and Malaysia. In the early days, there were railway lines from the western part of Singapore, from the industrial estate in Jurong to the main railway line along Bukit Timah to Tanjong Pagar. However, as time and economics changed, the railway was no longer in use for a period of time, while the railway line from Tanjong Pagar up to Malaysia is still in operation.


View KTM Malayan Railway Lines in Singapore in a larger map

With the recent changes to the future of the railway tracks and Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, agreements between the governments of Singapore and Malaysia is leading towards a new era for the railway lines in Singapore, what will happen to them? Will they survive the thirst of land scarce Singapore? Can the railway lines, there are or going to be no longer in use, be turned into Green Corridors?

Armed with the strong interest inside me, I read, followed and researched on various other blogs, photographs and details on a segment of the railway lines in Singapore. Thereafter, I decided to do the Teban Gardens to Sunset Way (Abandoned) Railway Track Photo Walkabout with Sue and Amanda. Using the KTM Malaysian Railway Line Track (on Google Maps) as a reference, we started at Block 9, Teban Garden Road, recognising the landmarks from friends photographs, we hiked under the bridge, into a tunnel and came out on the diagonal side of Ayer Rajah Expressway and Jurong Town Hall Road.

There were strong evidence of the abandoned railway track (coming out from the tunnel) and onto a small ridge line, the next stretch was pretty challenging with tall grass, thick bushes and streams. Observing from our route of advance, it was like 2 mini valleys and the valley on the left side was a stream, while the right side was still quite alright for hiking/bashing through, this route is not easy and can be quite tiring, on top of being careful on where you are hiking/bashing through. During this stretch, there weren’t any more evidence of the railway track until the side of Sungei Ulu Pandan, whereby we spotted the first railway track bridge and it’s closed by the authorities currently.

We had quite a bit of rest there, on the park connector side of Sungei Ulu Pandan, to dry our socks and shoes, before taking photographs of the railway bridge, crossing over along the expressway bridge to Faber Heights estate. At this area, we were able to find more distinct features of the former railway track lines, the railway track beams, bolts, wooden blocks and granite rocks. We had quite a good time with photography of historical railway tracks here, took a rest too before I made a decision to amend my route of advance.

Due to changing weather (potentially rain coming), I decided against walking through Faber Heights and decided to “cut through” Faber Heights private housing area, managed to get a drinks refill break at a provision store, moving out to Jalan Lempeng and walking across the road to Clementi Avenue 6 housing blocks. I am very familiar with this part of the area since my former primary school (Clementi North Primary School) is just around the corner and I was able to lead and “take shortcut” towards the Sunset Way side.

Reaching Clementi Avenue 4 housing blocks, being a local neighbourhood boy, I found my dirt track entry point and from this stretch onwards, it’s one of the better preserved railway track lines. Along this stretch, I was very happy, kind of getting back to my primary school days, of fun, play and no pressures. Small farms, temple, beautiful greenery before reaching the pinnacle of this photography walkabout, the Sunset Way Railway Bridge. Check out my flickr for the photos !

Looking back at this abandoned railway track lines, will it stand the test of Singapore’s history and future developments ?



Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I went Snap Snap November Outing !!

14th November 2009 would mark a significant day for me, what makes this day special and unique ? This day marked my maiden joint project with 24seven, a social media agency, organising the Snap Snap November Outing, details were also posted inside Singapore Blog Press~”Snap Snap November Outing”, a photography walkabout to the following locations in Singapore –

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– Dairy Farm Nature Park

– Singapore Quarry

– Clementi Railway

We all gathered at King Albert Park McDonalds, waited for the various bloggers/photographers to join up and it was fun to be involved in social media networking with bloggers and going out for outings together such as the Snap Snap November Outing. Transport was arranged by 24seven and it was really useful to get us from location to location, thus giving us more time to enjoy ourselves and take lots of photographs.

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Our 1st stop was Dairy Farm Nature Park, a recently opened Nature Park area whereby a relatively unknown part of Singapore history was preserved in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. An old warehouse was preserved and restored into a museum and classroom for students, cow sculptures showed visitors the heritage and history of dairy farm. While the Snap Snap group was hiking from Car Park B to Wallace Education Centre, they soon brought out their cameras and started happily snapping away ! Being the “tour + photography” guide today, I wasn’t able to take as many photographs today, having to lead the route, sharing about the history and photography tips too. The old PUB store room was a popular spot there and many of the Snap Snap Outing photographers were mesmerised by an old monument.

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Next stop is the Singapore Quarry, our bus took us from Car Park B to Jalan Asas, near to Rail Mall car park. It was a short walk from the Asas Entrance to the Singapore Quarry, when we were inside walking up the hill, we were surrounded by forests while we were able to see “civilisation” such as private residences and sounds of vehicles. It dawned upon us that Singapore does have interesting locations for us to visit and it would definitely attract both locals and tourists ! That’s why S’pore Discovery Centre organised an online contest known as SG Tidbits 365 to discover more of Singapore’s hidden secrets and gems ! Upon reaching Singapore Quarry, we took the time to relax and enjoy the peace, tranquility and beauty of Singapore along with lots of photographs !

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Our next stop was Clementi Railway track, in the Sunset Way region, the highlight of the Snap Snap November Outing schedule. The railway track is no longer in operation and it’s an historical monument of Singapore, although it was quite close to the road, trekking up proved a bit tricky with the wet weather causing the slopes and grass to be wet, muddy and slippery. Once up on the track, excitement grew and we all went forward to the railway track and started snapping happily away ! Since it was quite high up and above the river below, along with rusty metal planks and railings, wooden blocks on the railway track itself showed its wear and tear over the ages. Nevertheless, the group of photographers/bloggers were pro-active with a bit of hesitation to walk a bit more out and took many different photos. Do check out more of my Flickr photos from Snap Snap November Outing !!

For a greater understanding on the history of the Clementi Railway. do drop by Lam Chun See’s blog post and Second Shot-Same Place Just Different Time blog post ! Have a read of their interesting and comprehensive write up of the historical Clementi Railway !

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This being the 1st Photography Walkabout, I hoped everybody there enjoyed themselves today ! First and foremost, I would like to thank 24seven, especially Claudia and Ee Von for giving me this joint event opportunity ! Of course, I would like to thank all those who came today for the Snap Snap November Outing, you were the wonderful bloggers/photographers that made it fun and enjoyable !!!

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Thank you all and hope to do another Snap Snap Outing again !

Do check out fellow Snap Snap Outing Photographers/Bloggers posts !

Ee Von ~ “My First Photo Outing!

QQ’s SandBox ~ “Snap Snap Excursion to Hidden Corners of Singapore

Vic.sg ~ “Snap Snap Nov with 24seven!

LimeTouch ~ “Snap Snap November Adventure

The Keropok – Singapore Daily Photo ~ “Old Jurong Line – Railway at Sunset Way

The Keropok – Singapore Daily Photo ~ “Hidden Rails of Clementi”