Another Visit to the Bukit Timah Railway Station

July 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Heritage, Stories

By CK Ng, 19 Jun 2011.

After attending the Green Corridor walk to the Bukit Timah Railway Station last week, I decided to get Gilbert as well as another couple of friends to go there to shoot again. I also wanted to get a few shots of the token exchange process, a practice still performed here but will be history once the railway line and land is handed back to the Singapore government come 1 July 2011.

We arranged to meet at 7am at the McDonald’s at King Albert’s Park, but I was disappointed when I woke up to find it raining. After some hesitation, we decided to go ahead as the rain was getting lighter, and by the time we started, there was no more rain. Thankfully we did not give up and go back to bed!

I missed shooting some of the signboards leading up to the station the last time round, so I took them on this trip.

Bukit Timah Railway Station Signboard

Path leading to Bt. Timah Railway Station

A sign prohibiting photography and recording at the station premises. The station master was kind enough to let us shoot around the station on this day.

I also took a shot of the station from the opposite side.

A view of the Bukit Timah Railway Station from the opposite side.

I didn’t get a very good shot of the station from the red-brick side the last time, so I decided to try again. With less people this time, it’s easier.

The quaint, red brick building of the Bukit Timah Railway Station.

And what used to be a waiting area for passengers. Now that it’s only a passing-loop station, there are no longer passengers boarding or alighting here.

The plaque of the Kerajaan Malaysia crest at the waiting area.

The building itself has some nice quaint windows, a rarity today.

One of the windows of the station.

Soon we got news that a train is arriving at the station. The station master, Mr Atan, scrambled to work to activate all the necessary levers. An interesting sight was seeing all photographers rushing after him to photograph him operating the levers just like paparazzi chasing after a celebrity.

Station master Mr. Atan operating the signal lever. It doesn’t look like it, but it takes tremendous strength to actually operate them.

Another interesting sight that day was the appearance of a wedding couple and their entourage who were there to take some wedding photos.

A wedding couple has their photo taken at the station.

The train finally arrived and Mr. Atan signals for it to stop.

Station Master Mr. Atan signalling the train to come into the station.

As the train slows down, a KTM worker in the train hands over his token to Mr. Atan.

A KTM worker in the train hands over the key token to station master Mr. Atan while photographers shoot the process.

While the train stopped at the station, various passengers from inside the train took photos of what would be a historic landmark in Singapore.

Passengers taking photos of the Bukit Timah Railway Station before it becomes history come 1 Jul 2011.

Other passengers simply stood at the door to have a breather or just to look.

A train passenger takes a breather at Bukit Timah Railway Station.

A passenger lets a toddler have a view of the station while the train stops by.

A curious kid looks out of the train as it stopped by the Bukit Timah Railway Station.

The wedding entourage also took the opportunity to have their wedding photo taken with the train in the background. There won’t be much more opportunities to do this come 1 July.

A couple and their entourage have their wedding photos taken with the train as the background.

We thought that that’d be the last train until a few hours later but were surprised when another one rolled into the station.

Station Master Mr. Atan signals for a train to stop at the Bukit Timah Railway Station.

I missed the token exchange shot but before I knew it, the 3rd train for the morning came in from the south. Mr. Atan prepares and holds up a token as it approaches.

Station Master Mr. Atan prepares to hand over the token key to the worker of an incoming train.

Here’s a closer shot.

Station master Mr. Atan holds up a token for the approaching train.

As the train passes, a KTM worker inside takes over the token from Mr. Atan.

Station Master Mr. Atan hands over the token key to the worker of an incoming train.

Mr. Atan is all smiles after exchanging tokens with 3 trains.

While the train stopped at the station, the KTM workers also took a short break, Perhaps reminiscing the moments which will soon be history.

A KTM worker takes a break outside the office of the Bukit Timah Railway Station.

While we were there, we also asked Mr. Atan’s permission to take photos of the equipment inside the office, some of which will be returned to Malaysia after the handover and stored in a museum there.

A pair of token instruments and tokens in the office of the Bukit Timah Railway Station.

A pair of key tokens. The leather bag is used to store a key which is inserted/taken from the token instruments.

A close up shot of the dails and kobs of the token instrument.

Another close-up view of one of the token instruments with a key inserted.

Finally, before leaving, we thanked Mr. Atan for generously allowing us to take photos around the station as well as the office and took his portrait, which he glady agreed to.

The Last station master Mr. Atan poses for a photo in his office.

Back outside the station, as we were about to leave, another group of people were doing model shoots on the train. Not sure if they will still be able to do it once the land is handed over.

A model shoot taking place on one of the trains stopping by the Bukit Timah Railway Station.

A model poses for a shot at the front of a train.

We left the station after that, grabbing some shorts of the black truss bridge which is a familiar sight along Bukit Timah Road/Dunearn Road.

The black truss bridge over Bukit Timah Road/Dunearn Road.

The black truss bridge over Bukit Timah Road/Dunearn Road.

We were very glad we did not cancel the trip due to rain. It has been worth the trouble. More photos of the station can be found in my Flickr set.

Source credit: CK Photography

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