By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, 1 Jan 2012.
The last of the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway tracks have been dismantled and sent home to Malaysia, capping off a year in which the Woodlands to Tanjong Pagar railroad stretch was decommissioned in a landmark land swop.
The 26km tract from Woodlands to Tanjong Pagar was returned to Singapore last July as agreed with Malaysia, in exchange for land parcels in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor.
In the weeks after the train service to Woodlands ceased, thousands of recreational explorers and shutterbugs thronged the tracks, hoping to capture a slice of history.
Trains had run from Tanjong Pagar since 1932, and continue to run north from Woodlands.
Removal works started in July. Small structures, railway tracks, sleepers, ballast, cables, gates, posts and debris were removed. Read more
By Channel NewsAsia, 31 Oct 2011.
The stripping of the 23-kilometre KTM railway track from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands has been completed following the handover of the KTM land and the Tanjong Pagar railway station to Singapore this year, Malaysia media reported.
Dr Aminuddin Adnan, KTMB President, said the tracks weighed a total 2,500 tonnes, out of which about seventy percent have been transported back to Malaysia.
The rest, which was still being placed at a temporary storage area in Kranji, will be sent back to the country by the middle of next month.
The Malaysian press has also reported that part of the track would be showcased in KTMB museums as a historical exhibit while others will be kept for future use on KTMB tracks throughout the country. Read more
By Esther Ng, Today, 3 Sep 2011.
Allaying concerns that the removal of the KTM railway tracks would damage the flora and fauna, Law Minister K Shanmugam yesterday invited nature groups and the media to view a stretch of the tracks and the old Bukit Timah Railway Station, which will be opened to the public on Sept 16.
Mr Shanmugam said: “I’ve been assured, in this area, that none of the trees have been taken down. (There is) very little damage to the vegetation … I think people can see for themselves.”
The 1.4km stretch to be re-opened starts southwards from the steel bridge along Bukit Timah Road and runs past the old station, which will be conserved. Read more
By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, 3 Sep 2011.
Those who flocked to Bukit Timah railway station in the wake of the closure of the Tanjong Pagar station can do so again from Sept 16.
A 1.4km stretch in Bukit Timah of the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway land is the first section to have rail-removal works completed and will be reopened to the public.
But the tracks and equipment at the Bukit Timah railway station and the black steel bridge across Bukit Timah Road have been retained.
The 26km tract from Woodlands to Tanjong Pagar reverted to Singapore in July, and as agreed with Malaysia, most tracks and other structures are being removed and returned by Dec 31. The stretch is also being turfed over. Read more
By Joanne Chan, Channel NewsAsia, 2 Sep 2011.
The old Bukit Timah Railway Station and surrounding railway land will be open to the public in two weeks.
Announcing this on Friday, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said the station and railway land extending 1.4km southwards from the steel bridge along Bukit Timah Road will be open from September 16.
The SLA said other portions of the railway land will also be progressively open after removal works are completed. Read more
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
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
[This email was sent to SLA on 1 Aug 2011 - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. 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
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.
A Concerned Citizen
Letter from Lee Seng Lai Director Land Operations (Private) Division Singapore Land Authority and Tan See Nin Director (Physical Planning) Urban Redevelopment Authority, TODAY, 29 Jul 2011.
We refer to the letter from Mr Liew Kai Khiun, “A temporary park connector?” (July 21)
As agreed with Malaysia, Singapore has to remove the railway tracks and ancillary structures along the former KTM railway line, and hand them over to Malaysia by Dec 31.
This is a very tight timeline, given the extensive work required: The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has to remove 26km of railway tracks in five months. The SLA started removal works on July 18. Read more
Letter from Liew Kai Khiun, TODAY, 21 Jul 2011.
For the last fortnight, Singaporeans from all walks of life have been enthusiastically walking along the now defunct section of the Malayan Railway (KTM) route.
Among them have been ministers such as Brigadier-General (NS) Tan Chuan-Jin and Mr Khaw Boon Wan, who impressed with the possibility of conserving the route as a promising “Green Spine” and have urged the public to come forward with feedback.
However, even as many would like to contribute their ideas towards this concept – which may take years to evolve, according to BG (NS) Tan – several concerns have been raised about public access to this route as well as to the existing historical and natural features along it after the end of this month. Read more