Examples of Rails to Trails

August 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Recreation, Stories, Transport

A reader shares these examples of former railways converted into multi-purpose trails for cycling and walking, and at the same time serving as a wildlife corridor.


New Zealand:


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The Green Corridor walk along the old Jurong Line [18 Sep]

August 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Time: Sunday, September 18, 8:30am – 11:30am.
Location: Teban Gardens to Sunset Way.

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.

Join us for this walk and explore natural reforestation, spontaneous gardens and small scale farming, and walk in a dark underpass. Mr Wong Kum Seng from the Nature Society (Singapore) will lead this walk. Be prepared to get your shoes wet and muddy. This walk is not suitable for small kids.

Meeting time: 8.30am
Meeting point: Blk 41 Teban Gardens Road, behind bus stop (see map at http://gothere.sg/maps#q:Blk%2041%20Teban%20Gardens%20Road). Take bus 79 or 143 at Jurong East Interchange and alight at Blk 41 Teban Gardens Road.

Register through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=257263937626894.

If you’re not a Facebook user, just indicate your interest in the comments section below, and turn up on that day.

Let’s work together to create a shared vision of The Green Corridor

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under News

We started this campaign on 5 Nov 2010 to support The Green Corridor proposal by the Nature Society (Singapore), and our aims were to:

  1. Gather support for The Green Corridor and unite supporters
  2. Show the government that there is public interest and support for The Green Corridor
  3. Archive stories, photos and videos on the railway and The Green Corridor

We supported the proposal because we feel that it would improve Singapore’s long-term resilience through creating more opportunities in preserving our shared memories and creating our shared vision.

On 1 Jul, URA announced that it “will comprehensively review and chart the development plans for the former railway lands and their surrounding areas. As part of its review, the URA will study the possibility of marrying development and greenery, such as applying innovative strategies to maintain a continuous green link along the rail corridor without affecting the development potential of the lands.” Read more

PM Lee Supports The Green Corridor

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under News

During last Sunday’s National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong cited The Green Corridor project as one example where Singaporeans are going beyond giving views and coming forward to work with one other and with the government on projects which matter to them and which are good for Singapore.

PM Lee mentioned that MND, URA and himself are very keen on this project. Here’s the excerpts from his speech:

13. Very encouraged that Singaporeans are going beyond giving views

a. Coming forward to work with each other and with the government on projects which they care about

14. e.g. creating a green spine along KTM railway line

a. URA carrying out extensive public consultation

b. Looking for creative ways of preserving green spaces without affecting development potential of the land

c. Many bright ideas, including from students, architects, design professionals

i. To use sections as creative arts and performing spaces

ii. To develop a leisure corridor, linked to our park connector network

d. One proposal from Ms Regina Koo, a recent Architecture graduate from NUS

i. To develop stretch in Yew Tee beside Pang Sua Canal

ii. Build a “Velo-Park”, with bikeways, bike rental stalls, bike club and bike café

e. Look forward to many more good ideas

f. And hope when plans are settled, the interest groups will actively participate in implementing the projects

Watch the speech where PM Lee mentions The Green Corridor (the mention is from the middle of the video onwards).

Tracks cleared with maximum care for greenery, says SLA

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Letter from SLA, The Straits Times, 11 Aug 2011.

Singapore must remove the railway tracks and ancillary structures along the former KTM railway line, and return them to Malaysia by the year end (‘Be careful when dismantling rail tracks’ by Ms Catherine Lim; last Thursday).

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has taken efforts to minimise the impact of these works on the vegetation. The SLA has also worked with the National Parks Board to identify the areas along the rail corridor that are rich in biodiversity and ensure that these are not inadvertently cleared as the tracks are removed.

Read more

Source: The Straits Times

Track and fields

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under News

By Teh Jen Lee, The New Paper, 16 Aug 2011.

Looking at these pictures, you might be wondering: “I thought the Tanjong Pagar railway track is already closed to the public?”

Well, this is the lesser-known Jurong Line, which was completed in 1965.

Back then, the railway track served as an extension into the newly-constructed Jurong Industrial Estate.

But due to inadequate traffic, it has been abandoned since the late 1980s.

The partially-dismantled track emerges from the Clementi Woodlands at Sunset Way, crossing the Ulu Pandan Canal via the much-photographed cast iron bridge.

The New Paper on Sunday explored the area with Mr Leong Kwok Peng, vice-president of Nature Society Singapore (NSS) and acting chairman of the NSS conservation committee.

Read more

Source: The New Paper via Wildsingapore

Be careful when dismantling rail tracks

August 4, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Letter by Catherine Lim, The Straits Times, 4 Aug 2011.

I am writing to call for more supervision and sensitivity in dismantling the tracks and other movable parts in the rail corridor. I was confronted at the end of a very pleasant last walk from the Rail Mall to Bukit Timah by a scene of bare-faced destruction. The bulldozers had been sent in, and the greenery beyond the station suffered unnecessary collateral damage.

It was not what I expected, especially after an update from Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin, in which he said the intention was to try to keep the corridor as a continuous stretch with greenery (‘Govt hopes to keep continuous rail corridor’; last Thursday). A consultation group was to meet regularly to discuss public suggestions on plans for the corridor, he added.

Read more

Source: The Straits Times

Request To Minimise Impacts Of Railway Removal And Turfing Works

August 1, 2011 by  
Filed under News

[This email was sent to SLA on 1 Aug 2011 – vincent_hoong@sla.gov.sg, simon_ong@sla.gov.sg, lee_seng_lai@sla.gov.sg. If you feel that the removal and turfing works are too excessive and disruptive to nature and the unique landscape of the railway lands, pls voice your concerns to SLA.]

Mr Vincent Hoong Seng Lei
Chief Executive
Singapore Land Authority

cc: Simon Ong Hung Eng, Dy Chief Executive
Lee Seng Lai, Director, Land Operations (Private)

Request To Minimise Impacts Of Railway Removal And Turfing Works

Dear Mr Hoong

I refer to the current works on the railway tracks and structures, and the recent media replies by SLA on minimising the impacts of the works and access routes.

2. Unfortunately, the current removal and turfing works by the contractors along some parts of the railway lands, especially from Bukit Timah to Holland Road, are too excessive and disruptive to nature and the unique landscape of the railway lands.

3. I would like to request that SLA closely supervise the contractor and sub-contractors involved in the removal and turfing works, in order to reduce the impacts of the works, minimise destruction of nature and vegetation, and prevent excessive alteration to the unique landscape of the railway lands.

4. For your necessary and urgent action, please. Thank you.

Yours Sincerely

Eugene Tay
A Concerned Citizen

Breaking the link – cutting and removing the KTM railway line

August 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Heritage, Nature, Stories, Transport

By N. Sivasothi, 22 Jul 2011.

A symbolic scene greeted me on my field trip yesterday morning. The Malaysian (Keretapi Tanah Melayu or KTM) railway I crossed each time I ventured into Mandai mangroves since 1987 has been cut. The fastening clips have been removed and collected in canvas bags along the railway.

All this steel will be returned to Malaysia.

Railway line cut, 21 Jul 2011
Preparation for removal of the KTM rail, near Mandai Besar Read more

A Walk Down the Tracks Part 2

August 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Heritage, Nature, Recreation, Stories

By David Teo, 18 Jul 2011.

In the previous post, I talked about my walk along the tracks from Bukit Timah railway station to Ghim Moh Estate. CK and I took a well deserved breakfast break together with the rest of the group. For many of them, this is their final stop for the day while CK and I decided to press on towards Queensway, hoping to catch more of the sights along the way, especially the graffiti said to line the tunnels which we would be passing through.

The quiet and serene Ghim Moh Estate
A man reads the newspaper in the morning light at the quiet and serene Ghim Moh Estate. Read more

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