Familiarisation walk on the Jurong Line (only for volunteers) [22 Apr]

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Time: Friday, April 22, 3 – 6pm

Location: Teban Gardens to Sunset Way

Hang Chong from the Nature Society (Singapore) is conducting a special familiarisation trip along the old Jurong Line to train volunteers who are willing to help us lead future walks at the Jurong Line.

Date and Time: Friday, April 22, 3-6pm (Good Friday and Earth Day)

Meeting time: 3pm

Meeting point: Blk 39A Food Centre, Teban Gardens Road (you can take bus 79 or 143 at Jurong East Interchange)

The Jurong Line, completed in 1965, served as an extension into the then newly constructed Jurong Industrial Estate. It failed to generate adequate traffic and was closed in the early 1990s. It has since been partially dismantled.

Be a volunteer and join us for this walk and explore natural reforestation, spontaneous gardens and small scale farming, walk in a dark underpass, and cross the Ulu Pandan Canal via a majestic cast iron bridge. Be prepared to get your shoes wet and muddy.

Sign up through the Facebook event page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202596733105556 or indicate your interest in the comments section below.

Different routes for two railway stations?

April 9, 2011 by  
Filed under News

By S Ramesh and Hetty Musfirah Abdul Khamid, Apr 09, 2011.

One could become the centrepiece of the glitzy redevelopment of the Tanjong Pagar area, while the other, an endearing local landmark in Bukit Timah, will stand as a piece of Singapore’s transport history.

The Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB) is gazetting the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station (TPRS) as a national monument, while the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is gazetting the Bukit Timah Railway Station (BTRS) as a conserved building.

This, in view of “their deep historical significance, and to protect physical reminders of our rich heritage”, according to a joint statement from the PMB and URA released on Friday.

Read more

Source: Today Online

Historic railway stations to be kept for future generations

April 8, 2011 by  
Filed under News

In view of their deep historical significance and to protect physical reminders of our rich heritage, the Singapore government will be keeping both the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the Bukit Timah Railway Station. The Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB) is gazetting the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station as a National Monument, while the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is gazetting the Bukit Timah Railway Station as a conserved building.

At their Retreat on 24 May 2010, the Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia announced in their Joint Statement that the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) station would be relocated from Tanjong Pagar to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint (WTCP) by 1 July 2011. Both Leaders also agreed that the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Passenger Terminal building would be conserved given its historical significance and the old Bukit Timah Railway Station building at Blackmore Drive could also be conserved.

With the relocation of KTMB station from Tanjong Pagar to WTCP by 1 July 2011, both the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the Bukit Timah Railway Station will then cease to operate as KTMB railway facilities. Read more

A colourful journey in black and white

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Heritage, Stories, Transport

By Jerome Lim, 14 March 2011.

I have always been one for train rides, taking one every opportunity I get whenever I find myself with time to spare, be it from the grand stations of the great European cities, or from stations closer to home, with a particular liking for the old style railways that I sometimes stumble upon. In Singapore, the opportunity had presented itself throughout my life I guess, but somehow, I never embarked on a journey from the grand old station at Tanjong Pagar until I was well into my adulthood, making many trips in the 1990s. Trains always present themselves as a convenient means to get around from one city to another, taking one from the centre of the city right into the heart of another. So it is with the Malayan Railway as well – for another few months at least when Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB or KTM) moves the terminal station from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands. With that, we will bid goodbye to the old railway lines which has served Singapore since the turn of the last century, as well as an old railway station in the heart of the city.

The last opportunity to take a train from an old style station in the heart of Singapore, on a line that has served Singapore since 1932 (parts of it date back to the turn of the last century), through Singapore’s countryside, before train services terminate at Woodlands by the time the 1st of July arrives.

As mentioned in my previous post, I took another ride recently, just for the sake of reliving my previous journeys before the chance to do so evaporates once KTM moves operations to Woodlands. It will be a shame not to have had that experience, one that involves arriving or departing from the platforms which had served as the southern terminal to the Malayan Railway for eight decades from its days as the FMSR. Once the move is made, Singapore would lose not just another historical link it has had with the Malay States in the Malayan Peninsula, but also a proper train station to take a romantic journey on a train from. What will also go are the well worn tracks that served us so well, laid over a corridor of land that probably due to the railway, has remained untouched and relatively green; as well as the many markers left behind by the railway including the railway bridges, signal posts, railway buildings and control huts, distance markers and the last remaining level crossings in Singapore. Read more

There I go again … another journey through Tanjong Pagar

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Heritage, Stories, Transport

By Jerome Lim, 11 March 2011.

I guess I have not had enough of it, despite probably having tens of, if not a couple of hundred journeys out of Tanjong Pagar. I did it once again, since proclaiming that that journey taken with some friends at the end of last year would possibly have been my last. Having had a mixed bag of experiences on the many journeys through the arches of the grand old station, the ones that probably I remember most of are the regular delays that one comes to expect on the far from reliable train service that KTMB operates. Part of the reason for this, some of the archaic infrastructure and practices still in use on the old railway, does perhaps lend itself to an experience that you would certainly not get on the efficient railways that criss-cross much of the European continent – one that seems out of place in the ultra modern and efficient world we have grown accustomed to in Singapore.

I will certainly miss taking train journeys out of Tanjong Pagar … something that will perhaps motivate me to take a few more over the next few months before the station closes.

Stepping into the station itself would somehow take you back in time, the atmosphere being one which seems more at home in the Singapore of the 1960s and 1970s. The large airy concourse that greets the visitor is adorned with mosaic murals that speak of a style that was prevalent of a time we have left behind and depict scenes from the Malayan peninsula that would have been more common in that era. Over the years that I had have an awareness of the layout of the concourse, nothing much has changed except perhaps that the occupants of some of the spaces, and an invasion of a Tourism Malaysia hut in the middle of it. It is in one of the spaces along the concourse that some nice food can be found and to perhaps add a old world flavour to the station, you would find food vendors that would be more comfortable conversing in Bahasa Melayu, once a common language on the streets. Read more

Journeys through Tanjong Pagar: First Impressions …

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Heritage, Stories, Transport

By Jerome Lim, 21 Sep 2010.

I had as a child, been fascinated by the old railway station at Tanjong Pagar. The grand old station building, which has provided many of us with a passage to the north, had been one that always attracted my attention whenever I passed it in the backseat of my father’s car. The very first impression I have of the station is one that has been shaped by the food stalls that sprouted up in the open air car park in front of the station every evening, stalls that seemed to glow in the shadows cast by the grey façade of the railway station.

The passage to the north. Read more

Singapore-Malaysia cross-border transport agreement and opportunities

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Stories, Transport

By Paul Barter, May 31, 2010.

Singapore’s bicycle community has noticed that last week’s agreement on the Malayan Railways (KTM) corridor could create a wonderful bikeway opportunity. So far, this angle has had no media attention. More on this at the end but first I want to reflect on the wider issues in the agreement.

A few years back, in my geographer days, I wrote about the surface links between Singapore and Malaysia. These are both international transport and urban transport at the same time. After a long saga, the two countries have finally reached an agreement on several important cross-border transport issues. At the time I studied this about 5 years ago, it was an intriguing tale and a case of remarkably problematic cross-border cooperation. I am glad that win-win resolutions look like emerging.

My 2006 paper on this (pdf; publisher site) discussed three main aspects and the latest announcement relates to all three (as well as several other issues, such as cross-border taxis, buses and revived plans for a cross-border mass transit system to connect with Singapore’s MRT). Read more

Having to bid farewell to another old friend?

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Heritage, Stories

By Jerome Lim, 24 May 2010.

It was with sadness that I read the news about the impending closure of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in July next year, which was announced today. It has very much been a part of the Singapore that I grew up loving, one that I first became acquainted with on the makan trails that may parents led us on from the heights of Mount Faber. What the news release does not say is whether the station which has served for so long, providing many of us, including myself, with many memories of adventures on the railway to the Federation or Malaya as we may have referred to to it back then, will have to go, as both Malaysia, which owns the station and the railway land, and Singapore seek to jointly redevelop the parcels of land around the railway.

The entrance to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station with the four pillars of Malaya’s economy, Agriculture, Commerce, Transport and Industry. Read more

Faber access road: Joint effort by agencies to minimise environmental impact

April 5, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Straits Times Forum, 18 Mar 11.

WE THANK Ms Bhavani Prakash for her feedback (‘Don’t cut a road across the green corridor’; March 8).

We understand the concerns that the construction of the new access road into the Faber area could affect the environment. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) had taken this into consideration when planning this new access road.

We are working closely with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Parks Board (NParks) to minimise any impact on the existing environment and the number of trees affected.

Read more

Source: Straits Times via Wildsingapore

Don’t cut a road across the green corridor

April 5, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Straits Times Forum, 8 Mar 11.

THE eagerness with which we want to make life easy for motorists is a narrow paradigm (‘Faber residents squawk over road plan’; last Wednesday).

The Land Transport Authority must design the city for people and not for cars. Perhaps traffic can be eased if we made it easier for people to cycle and walk, which is what the Nature Society (Singapore)’s plan for the green corridor envisions: a 40km stretch for eco-friendly and less carbon-intensive passage.

The corridor could become an iconic regional attraction, which can be propped up by an economic model that earns revenue. It would also preserve our ecology and heritage for generations – a real winner for all.

Read more

Source: Straits Times via Wildsingapore

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