By Teo Wan Gek and Toh Yong Chuan, The Straits Times, 30 Dec 2011.
Alarm bells rang in Nature Society (Singapore) vice-president Leong Kwok Peng’s head when he read a front-page report in The Straits Times announcing the relocation of Tanjong Pagar railway station to Woodlands.
That was on May 25 last year.
Mr Leong, 55, says the Nature Society had for years hoped to preserve the nature belt along the railway tracks.
With the railway land reverting to Singapore, future developments might encroach into the pockets of nature or break up the continuous stretch of greenery.
Mr Leong got to work. He wrote to The Straits Times Forum to propose a green corridor be preserved, and ended up spearheading the Nature Society’s campaign on the matter.
By Esther Ng, Today, 3 Sep 2011.
It might not be as well known as the main line but a 2.5km stretch of the old Jurong Line – which passes through the steel bridge over Ulu Pandan Canal – will be included in the conceptual master planning of the rail corridor, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has told Today.
The URA explained that parts of the Jurong Line have been committed to, or are undergoing development work. For instance, the installation of new roads at the International Business Park and the Faber residential estate will improve traffic and “facilitate future developments”, said a URA spokesperson.
“The former Jurong Line is not part of the main line from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands and has been abandoned for many years. In some places, the rail line has been turfed over or is in a severe state of disrepair,” the spokesperson added.
By Miss Pegasus, 10 Jul 2011.
this trip was vastly different from my previous trip along the railway track from Bt Merah to Bt Timah, when few ppl bothered abt the existence of this track. no one cared abt the railway line. apart from turning their heads to the sound of the oncoming train, the railway track seemed to disappear. in my previous trip, we were the only ones walking on the track and NSS led some groups.
yesterday, as i walked towards the bt timah railway station, my heart sank. so many ppl? the place looked infested. and i became skeptical. so many people. i walked on with a heavy heart to the start point. and i stood there alone for a good 20 minutes, just observing everyone. i heard the conversations of ppl walking past me, those taking scenic photographs, those taking arty farty photographs with toy trains on the railway tracks, little kids picking up stones and throwing it back on the track, eager parents who encouraged their kids, and eager parents who warned their kids to be safe. so many people, so much noise, so many distractions. this was absolutely not what i imagined it to be. Read more
By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, 28 Jul 2011.
The Government hopes to keep the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway land a continuous stretch as far as possible, said Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin in a meeting with the media yesterday.
Plans for the tract will be firmed up over the next two years, and details will be included in the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) 2013 land-use Master Plan, he added.
Referring to the 26km tract which stretches from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands, he said: ‘I imagine there are stretches which we will keep, some we would develop in a way that makes sense, but the idea of it as a continuous stretch is something we would very much like to do.
‘It’s about keeping the spirit of it as much as the physical.’
Source: The Straits Times
By Esther Ng, TODAY, 28 Jul 2011.
Nearly a fortnight after the Malayan Railway (KTM) tracks were closed to the public, graffiti has been spotted on the bridges, tracks and sleepers.
The vandals left their mark with correction fluid or used stones to scratch the surfaces.
During a briefing about the 26km rail corridor yesterday, Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin appealed to Singaporeans not to “inscribe their names” or deface the structures. “In terms of policing, we do ask for civic consciousness. We don’t want to regulate or manage it in a way that it becomes obtrusive … We want to leave (the tracks) for everyone to share,” said Brigadier-General (NS) Tan.
By Amelia Tan, The Straits Times, 10 Jul 2011.
An informal workgroup that includes people with varied perspectives has been formed to chart the future of the former KTM railway land. It includes representatives from nature and heritage groups, architects and university dons.
Already, its first meeting is scheduled in one to two weeks’ time, said Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin, who is leading the railway development project.
Meetings will be held once every one or two months, he told reporters at Bukit Timah Railway Station yesterday.
Brigadier-General (NS) Tan was leading a group of about 30 people from interest groups, such as nature and heritage groups, as well as individuals on a 23km trek along the railway tracks from Silat Estate in Tanjong Pagar to Kranji.
By Hoe Yeen Nie, Channel NewsAsia, 9 Jul 2011.
The National Development Ministry is studying ways to retain the old KTM railway tracks as a green spine for nature and leisure.
The railway line running through Singapore was closed after the KTM train station at Tanjong Pagar moved to Woodlands on July 1.
Writing in his blog on Saturday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said he sees a “green opportunity” for urban development that will not compromise the development potential of the lands surrounding the track.
He hopes Singaporeans will come forward with their ideas to “co-develop a workable and practical scheme”.
Source: Channel NewsAsia
By Daryl Chin and Sia Ling Xin, The Straits Times, 3 Jul 2011.
It was a scene Singapore has never witnessed: Scores of people strolling along the railway tracks that run from Woodlands to Tanjong Pagar.
Yesterday, a day after the authorities announced that it would allow the public access to most of the 26km track for two weeks, hundreds of people turned up at different sections of the route throughout the day.
The Nature Society (Singapore) led an organised walk, with about 60 of its members trekking 6km from Bukit Timah to Ten Mile Junction.
Mr Leong Kwok Peng, vice-president of the society, said: ‘I think the turnout is fantastic. You can easily see hundreds of people milling around the area when you look down both ends of the tracks.’
By Lynda Hong, Channel NewsAsia, 2 Jul 2011.
Some 200 people flocked to the Bukit Timah Railway station on Saturday to reminisce Singapore’s railway past. This, on the first weekend after Singapore took over all railway land south of Woodlands, following a land swop deal with Malaysia.
The Bukit Timah railway station was a hive of activity. Everything there – even the toilet – became a photo opportunity.
Singaporeans and tourists alike – were there to reminisce.
“Now the land belongs back to us again. So it’s something for us to remember. And we never had the opportunity to walk before,” said one of the people there.
The Nature Society of Singapore also organised a four-hour trek for some thirty people.
Source: Channel NewsAsia
By Jamie Ee Wen Wei, The Straits Times, 2 Jul 2011.
TANJONG Pagar Railway Station may be closed and work to remove the tracks is under way, but it is not the end of the road yet for railway buffs.
In response to requests from the public, the entire line of railway tracks will be open to the public from now until July 17, except for a few areas.
After July 17, a 3km stretch of tracks from Rifle Range Road to The Rail Mall will continue to be open until July 31.
A joint statement from the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday noted that as agreed with Malaysia, Singapore will remove the tracks and ancillary structures of the KTM railway and hand them over to Malaysia.
The SLA will start these removal works as well as do maintenance works shortly.