By CK Ng, 19 Jul 2011.
This is a continuation of my previous post where I talked about a walk Boon Hwee and I took from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Jalan Hang Jebat. Before bidding farewell, Jerome gave us some pointers on what to look out for along the route as well as how to get there, and we set off to continue our walk.
A view of the railway tracks from an overhead bridge near Blk 10, Ghim Moh Road. Read more
By CK Ng, 17 Jul 2011.
Shortly after the cessation of rail services between Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, the announcement came that the entire railway will be opened to the public to explore until 17 July 2011. With no trains to watch out for, this is a good time to explore the track and the surroundings, so when I saw Jerome‘s Facebook posting organising such a walk last week, I jumped at the opportunity and also invited Boon Hwee, who has also been documenting the last days of the KTM railway to come along.
The walk was supposed to start from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, but Jerome, having walked the track with the Minister of State Brigadier-General Tan Chuan Jin, commented that it was rather tough and there wasn’t much to see until much further down the road, so we decided to start from Bukit Timah Railway Station and end at Ghim Moh instead.
We arrived to see the Bukit Timah Railway Station now fenced up in an ugly green fence.
The railway tracks and the now-defunct and fenced up Bukit Timah Railway Station in the early morning. Read more
By CK Ng, 9 Jul 2011.
I was not much of a railway person. The KTM railway in Singapore has been around for nearly 80 years, but like most people, I never thought much about it. I had vague memories of taking the train to Malaysia when I was a little kid but couldn’t remember much of it.
The quaint little railway station (which I never knew about until recently) and the iconic black truss bridge across Bukit Timah Railway – these were very close to Ngee Ann Polytechnic where I spent three years studying. I would pass the bridge every day on the way to and from the polytechnic, but never ventured to explore the vicinity.
The black truss bridge across Bukit Timah Road and Dunearn Road, as seen from the Bukit Timah Railway Station side. Read more
By CK Ng, 2 Jul 2011.
After 79 years of operation, the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will cease operations on 30 June 2011. Not wanting to miss the historic moment, I decided to pay the station a last visit before it’s closed the next day. Gilbert was with me as well, and we hoped to capture the last trains in and out of the station which will serve as a closure for the many photographs of the railway that we’ve done over the past few weeks.
Arriving at the station and not having previously shot it at night, I decided to take a photo of it. Additional lights have been put up to further light up the station’s facade, which we later found was also to prepare for the arrival of the Sultan of Johor who will be driving the last train out of the station.
The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station at night. Additional lights have been put up the night this photo was taken.
By CK Ng, 26 Jun 2011.
This weekend marks the last weekend of the train operations along the old railway system in Singapore. During the last few weekends, I’ve been photographing around the Bukit Timah Railway Station several times as I am attracted to the quaint little building and also wanted to capture the old practice of exchanging key tokens.
Today, after bringing Clarence, Jimmy and their friend Lawrence to the station to shoot, we made our way to the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. The sky was starting to get dark and rain was imminent.
Front view of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Read more
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 Read more
By Jerome Lim, 19 May 2011.
Minutes before arriving at Woodlands on the 30th of June, the last of the Malayan Railway trains to cut across our island would have passed what would be the last operational level crossing in Singapore. It is probably appropriate that the crossing, one of two gated crossings left (the other being at Gombak Drive), is the last that will see a train pass through, being close to the terminal point of the original Singapore-Kranji Railway which commenced operations in 1903. The original line had featured numerous level crossings, particularly in the busy city centre and in planning the Railway Deviation of 1932, a stated objective had been the elimination of the level crossings in the city which proved not just to be costly to maintain, but also contributed to significant congestion on the city roads as well as being dangerous. What we are left with today are five operational manned level crossings, three of which are closed by a barrier rather than a gate. The crossings are at Gombak Drive, Choa Chu Kang Road (the widest), Stagmont Ring Road, Sungei Kadut Avenue and Kranji Road.
A train crossing Kranji Road. The Kranji level crossing would be the last one to operate on the 30th of June 2011. Read more
By Jerome Lim, 18 May 2011.
The last day of June this year will bring to a close a long chapter in our history, one that will break a link we have had with the Malayan Railway, now operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM), that went back some 108 years. The railway’s beginings can be traced back to the Singapore-Kranji Railway which started service in 1903 providing a link from the north down to the terminal station in Tank Road. A ferry service was introduced which provided rail passengers with a link to the Johor Railway across the Straits of Johor which was replaced by the rail link across the Causeway when that was built. It was a railway deviation in 1932 that diverted the railway to its current terminal at Tanjong Pagar, cutting a path through from Bukit Timah deviating from its original route over towards Ulu Pandan, Buona Vista, Tanglin Halt, towards the new grand terminal built to provide Singapore with a station that was befitting of its economic importance. Beside the grand old station, it was this deviation that possibly provided us with the many structures that give the areas through which the railway passes through a unique flavour as well as helping preserving parts of old Singapore: the two distinctive black truss bridges across Bukit Timah Road; the girder bridges across at the road entrance to Bukit Timah Hill and at the entrance to Hillview Avenue; the quaint old station at Bukit Timah and the wonderful green corridor that has been maintained along much of the railway land.
The last train will pass reach Woodlands Checkpoint at approximately 23:00 on 30th June 2011 and that will end 108 years of trains of the Malayan Railway chugging through Singapore. Read more
By Jeffrey and Flora, 16 Dec 2010.
Recently, I met up with notabilia and Singapore Noodle to explore the Bukit Timah Railway Station. Not quite knowing where it was, I left my house extra early and arrived about an hour later by bus. I walked up a dirt and gravel road next to a black trestle bridge that crosses Bukit Timah Road, right near the King Albert Park bus stop. At the top of the road, I was greeted by this sign:
I was a little disappointed, but notabilia asked the station master for permission to take photos and permission was granted. He seemed used to dealing with curious people with cameras around their necks asking him to poke around his railway station. Read more
By Jerome Lim, 14 May 2011.
On the 30th of June, we will see the last day of operation at the grand old station at Tanjong Pagar. The station, grand not in terms of scale, but in the magnificent style in which it was built, has served Singapore as the southern terminal station for close to eight decades, having been completed in 1932 to provide a city fast growing in economic importance with a station befitting of its status, and being part of a deviation of the railway which had prior to that, run through the Bukit Timah corridor before terminating at Tank Road. With the return of the railway land which has been held on a lease by the successors of the Malayan Railway, Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) and the shift of the southern terminal on the 1st of July, the age of rail travel across Singapore, which has lasted a little over a century, would draw to a close.
Operations at the grand building which has served as the southern terminal of the Malayan Railway since 1932 will cease on 1st July 2011.
In what form the station, which has recently received status as a National Monument, will be conserved following the handover we do not know, but whatever does happen, it would only serve as a reminder of the once working station which had for many years been an oasis of the laid back old world feeling that is missing from the modern Singapore that we have gotten used to. Gone will be the whistles and the drone of the diesel engines, the coming and going of passengers, the popular food outlets and what has become an institution at the railway station, the Habib Book Store and Money Changer. Gone will also be the opportunity to soak up the feel of the mood around the station, and lazily sip away at a cup of tea seated at the station end of the arrival platform. Read more