Bukit Timah Railway Station – The Rail Mall
Due to the rental agreement on the Tanjong Pagar Railway station expiring earlier this month, the KTM Railway that links the crossing between Singapore and Malaysia has been closedown and a new railway terminal has been opened on the North of the island. Therefore the 30km or so of track laid into the city centre are now no longer in use. There has been an argument about who owned this land for years, however now it is back in the hand of the Singapore authorities who have been desperate to claim ownership largely due to the value of the land that the railway lines sit upon being astronomical. So in return the Malaysians are insisting upon getting their rail way lines back!
Due to the level of interest from the general public in this piece of the Singapore story, KTM advised that they would not start works on the removal of the railway till the 18th July 2011 with only one section remaining open to the public after that.
Given the rare opportunity to explore some where a little bit different, we thought we would head out for a quiet Sunday afternoon walk along the old railway lines to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Instead we found thousands of people had exactly the same idea! Literally thousands.
We started out at the old Bukit Timah Railway Station. This was only used in recent years as a token exchange point but as the station master was still employed full time, he seemed to have time to take care of the local garden display. Unfortunately the security fences were already in place and the buildings had been secured so there was no opportunity for exploring these.
This section was extremely busy due to its ease of access and the proximity to the local shopping centre and McDonalds take away.
It became almost impossible to take photos here as it was so crowded. Trying to stay out of the way of others was also a non starter and I gave up after a few minutes. Apologies if your photos were ruined, but the number of cameras was doing my head in.
A minor bit of “planking” ensued – but that is for a different forum discussion so no photos will be put up in case that one kicks off again! Railway lines and planking might be too much for “Scotraildriver” and co.
Then we set off north across the box truss bridge across Dunearn Road and onwards past the Rifle Range(?) Road
A brief stop at the Bukit Timah Nature reserve for some lunch with some of the local inhabitants. That’s not my banana skin before anyone asks – especially if you are from any Singapore authority. They appeared to be quite happy to have their pictures taken as they have grown up surrounded by humans.
Carrying on along the rails – which were difficult to walk on due to the spacing of the sleepers and the constant need to get out of peoples way! – we passed by some small memorial that I did not fully understand and under several other bridges etc before arriving at the Rail Mall. Itself an old railway station where we had to stop for a coffee.
The plans was to return by the same route, however due to the sheer number of people on the route, we opted to walk back along the roadside.
A bit of an unusual day out that unfortunately will not be possible by the end of the month, but surely this report must hold the record on WH for the sheer number of people in it?
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