Tag Archives: The Rail Corridor

The Green Corridor Run 2014

The Green Corridor route in Singapore, a beautiful nature trail running through Singapore’s heartlands and some of Singapore’s natural greenery from the Southern tip of Singapore at Tanjong Pagar towards the Northern part of Singapore around the Woodlands region. The Green Corridor as some of us would affectionately know, is also known as the Rail Corridor, given her former roots and history of the former KTM train services running on the railway track from Tanjong Pagar KTM Railway Station to Bukit Timah KTM Railway Station and Woodlands Checkpoint before crossing over to Malaysia.

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The Green Corridor Run 2014, a unique trail run that starts from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Bukit Timah Railway Station, over a distance of 10.5km surrounded by the natural green environment and the Singapore heartlands. In their 2nd year, it was great to see a great turnout of runners running in the Green Corridor running singlet and the runners blend themselves beautifully with the beautiful greenery of the Green Corridor/Rail Corridor. I was at the Kampung Bahru Road flyover and photographed the first and second wave of Green Corridor Run runners running out from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station area and it was a nice sea of green runners among the greenery! The weather during the Green Corridor Run 2014 was very wet and kudos to the runners for completing the run in very wet and muddy conditions!

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I wasn’t able to cover the Green Corridor Run 2014 from the Tanjong Pagar towards the end point at Bukit Timah Railway Station due to a clash of schedules, like what I did in the Green Corridor Run 2013. However, I hope that my small contribution in sharing about the Green Corridor Run 2014 and some photographs from the Green Corridor Run 2014 would encourage future Green Corridor runners to join! I also hope that more people would continue to love and explore our Green Corridor/Rail Corridor for leisure and recreational activities, along with the history and culture of the KTM Railway operations in Singapore.

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I personally feel that the Green Corridor Run is great and suits the Green Corridor perfectly! Let’s keep the Green Corridor Run going in the years ahead and beyond! Let’s keep the Green Corridor status quo and an area for outdoor recreation, fun, healthy living and leisure activities!


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Old Romances & Old Places – Kick Off for 2013

My adventure in photographing, documenting and sharing about Old Places and lately Old Romances in Singapore, had always been a fruitful and exciting adventure for me. For my personal projects in the areas of Old Places and Old Romances, I produced a mixture of history, heritage, cultural, conservation, preservation, photographs and writing into my posts. With a mixture of current events and personal projects, I am a good mix of photography stories/adventures of past and present.

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After watching Old Romances at the National Museum of Singapore, it was a Rekindling of Old Romances inside me. There were still many Old Places and Old Business Trades for me to go out photograph and document in Singapore. It would be a balancing act for my photojournalism journey in 2013, between my personal projects in Old Romances, Old Business Trades and Old Places, along with current events coverage in sports, events and tourism. I am finally kicking off my Old Romances and Old Places photojournalism journey for the year 2013 and I would be sharing some areas that I would be looking into as my priorities.

Bukit Brown 

This year 2013, it would be the start of the exhumation of the affected graves at Bukit Brown for the upcoming building of the expressway cutting through Bukit Brown. I trekked and explored Bukit Brown with the Nature Society of Singapore on 24th December 2011, and with my relatives over 2 more times  to find my ancestors and pay respects to them. I had not written about my relatives visit to Bukit Brown and this would take on a more significant portion for year 2013 because three of my five ancestors (my maternal Great-Grandfather and two of my maternal Great-Grandmothers whom I never met before) are affected by the building of the expressway and they are slated for exhumation. I personally find it very challenging if the green light comes to me from my senior hierarchy of my maternal side of family to photograph and document the exhumation process. When the time comes, I would share my documentation stories and photographs with the blessings and permission of my relatives if they give me the permission to do so.

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Bidadari 

This is another former cemetery in Singapore, that was cleared sometime back. The plans would be a go-ahead to build HDB blocks in the area and the lush greenery that plays a birds haven to around 139 species of birds both local and migratory. There is a Facebook Group – Saving Bidadari for Birds and People, do check them out! While it is inevitable that the majority of the land at Bidadari would be used for HDB blocks, there is a chance that the lush greenery that housed the birds would have a different outcome since that area was planned to be a neighbourhood park. Nature Society of Singapore did a proposal for the conservation of Bidadari as a Nature Park, that would definitely benefit the preservation of the birds, a green space for the public to relax and enjoy. I am looking forward to visit Bidadari, enjoy the green lush space and do bird photography, along with writing and advocating the preservation of Bidadari as a Nature Park. Let’s see if civic groups and community engagements can make a difference to how we want Singapore to be like in the future, to strike a balance between growth, expansion and retaining our green space for wildlife, leisure and recreation.

Old Business Trades 

In the face of modernisation and capitalisation, many Old Business Trades in Singapore faced an uncertain future, they faced different issues such as the trade would not be able to pass on to the next generations at all since there were not any takers to do so. I was honoured that I was given permission and able to follow along with National Heritage Board (NHB) mini-projects to cover and document Old Business Trades. My first coverage of the Old Business Trades was my post on “The Art and Profession of Knife Sharpening“. Looking and moving ahead for 2013, I hope to be able to cover more of these Old Business Trades. Another segment that I covered was in the traditional arts performances such as Puppetry in Singapore and Bangsawan Performance.

Old Romances

After watching Old Romances, there was a connection between the love stories that the people kindly shared and what those Old Places, Old Trades and Cultures meant to them. From the different love stories shown, I had explored and photographed some of them, there were those that I didn’t know they were around in Singapore. I would look into this list and start to explore them in the year 2013, with fellow heritage buffs. We would all probably take turns to plan and lead heritage outing trips to the places shown in Old Romances.

Green Corridor 

The Green Corridor, also known as the Rail Corridor. An area that I was interested in, covering and photographing the KTM Railway before it was handed back to Singapore, the removal of the railway tracks and being transformed into a green corridor. While the future remains a question mark, I believe that with active and constant community engagements and dialogues with the relevant authorities. The Green Corridor/Rail Corridor would remain mostly a green corridor for all of us to enjoy, relax and stay active, exercising and healthy by cycling, trekking and running along the Green Corridor!

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Do stay tuned to my photographs collection on Flickr and 500px for my Old Places and Old Romances updates too!

500px ~ Old Places

Flickr ~ Old Places

Flickr ~ The Green Corridor

Finally, I got this write up off my chest and mind!! Now I can go ahead and kick off my Old Romances and Old Places 2013 documentary and photojournalism adventure for 2013!

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!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.