. bukit timah railway station .

The recent news about the closure of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station has created quite a stir amongst many Singaporeans, netizens and budding photographers who wanted to visit both the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Bukit Timah Railway Station (now functioning as a passing loop railway station between Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands) before operation ceases for good (with effective 1st July 2011). That is just less than 2 months away! This was a cause of concern for many heritage and nature lovers who were afraid that the government might demolish the stations for commercial development. As we all know, land is extremely scarce in Singapore and any available prime land (especially at Bukit Timah) is most likely to be snapped immediately either to build another expensive condominium or a retail mall. Well, money talks. Click here to read about a proposal, proposed by The Green Corridor, to turn the stations, along with its railway tracks, into an eco-tourism attraction. Thumbs up! πŸ™‚

Fortunately, the government has assured us that the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will be gazetted as a National Monument under the Preservation of Monuments Board (PMB) as it sees the importance of having to preserve a place that had played such a significant role in our transportation history. In addition, the Bukit Timah Railway Station will also be gazetted as a conserved building under the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). In its proposal, The Green Corridor has suggested turning the station and parts of its rail tracks into a locomotive museum, something which I honestly think is a fantastic idea as I’ve been very impressed by the few train museums that I had visited overseas.

P/S: Want to get Insider information about the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station? If so, do not hesitate to sign up for the special tour organized by the PMB as registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis.Register here now!

By order of KTMB, no photography or recoding is allowed. However, “nothing is impossible“. Be polite and ask the station master for his permission to take pictures of the railway station and its premises. Chances are, he will be more than willing to oblige with your request! πŸ™‚

A little about its history

According to the information provided by Heritage Trails, the Bukit Timah Railway Station was opened back in 1915, as part of the Singapore-Kranji Railway that ran from the original train terminal at Tank Road to Kranji and Woodlands before proceeding into Malaysia. The original railway line also ran past Cuppage Road, Newton Circus and Cluny Road. Owned by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) since 1918, there railway tracks and train stations are properties of the Malaysian Government.

The terminal station was later relocated from Tank Road to Tanjong Pagar (built in 1932). This move had resulted in the eventual closure of the original line as there was simply a lack of demand. There were some changes made to the immigration policies in 1993 and this had resulted in the conversion of Bukit Timah station from a pit-stop to a passing loop station. Hence, the station is currently only used for crossings.

*Source: All info from Heritage Trails and Wikipedia

The little office that belongs to the station master and staff of KTM

Levers to control the changing of railway tracks. Do not play with them!

Truth to be told, I never knew about the existence of the little-known Bukit Timah Railway Station until I read about the recent news of its impending closure from other blogs. So clueless! Our interest to check out the less trodden places of attraction in Singapore had prompted us to make a trip (probably, our first and last) to Bukit Timah Railway Station so that we can check out the sights and sounds as we feared that it might be gone for good. Thankfully, our initial fears were uncalled for.

Β Lady luck must have been on our side as we were very fortunate to have witnessed the exchange of key tokens between the station master and the staff onboard the train. This exchange of key tokens signifies the green light for the train to proceed from the station. As the train sped by, we couldn’t help but to feel extremely exhilarated and ecstatic to stand within such close proximityΒ  to a fast-moving train (contrary to some blog reports, this train didn’t slow down during this exchange)! The gust of wind was so strong that I was a little fearful that I might fall, head first, into the tracks – no thanks to the series of freak MRT accidents – , nonetheless, it was such a thrill!

Being born in a generation where we take planes more than trains (not including MRT!), I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t sat onboard the train to Malaysia in close to 2 decades! Nevertheless, I’m adding a train ride from Tanjong Pagar to JB on my “TO DO” checklist.Β  A must-do before 1st July!

All pictures were taken with my point-and-shoot compact camera (low budget!). For more professional pictures and fascinating stories about the railway tracks (including the now defunct Jurong line, which I must explore one day) or the train journey, do visit other sites such as the Photojournalist and The Long & Winding Road. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

17 responses to “. bukit timah railway station .

  1. You really have a keen eye for great pictures! Love all the shots u take..

    • Thanks dear. πŸ™‚ I think still got room for improvement. in fact, mk and i are thinking of investing in a slightly more pro-camera but still compact.

      By the way, i wanted to ask both u and JZ if you guys are keen on an amateur photography trip together. To capture old playgrounds. Just spent my morning visiting some of them and it was such a thrill to discover those playgrounds that were once so fun during our childhood years. To get an idea, you can google “old playgrounds singapore” as there are many photo blogs featuring those playgrounds!

  2. fuzzygreenlights

    Hey babe!

    I took the train from JB last week! It was a memorable experience albeit the funky-smelling train carriage. Like you, I had no idea Bukit Timah Railway Station existed! Hope you’ll find time to experience the train ride. πŸ™‚

    & awesome photos by the way!

    • Hi there πŸ™‚

      HAHA. I’m not surprised about the “funky-smelling” part :p Well, completes the train experience, doesn’t it? Is it possible to take the train from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands instead of JB? Am intending to take it sometime in Mid June with my friends and I think it’ll be a blast to see a rustic side of Singapore that we wouldn’t get to see if we were travelling via roads. πŸ™‚ Havent been to the Tanjong Pagar train station but will be doing so this Sunday as we are going for the insider tour! exciting …

  3. Hi Stephanie

    Nice to meet you here on your blog! It’s great to find people with interest in photography and local SG surroundings, heritage and history! I was reading through some of your entries and keep up the good documentation/writing/
    & photography that you have been doing!

    Great photos, u do have an eye for photography! Look forward to viewing more of your adventures and posts πŸ™‚ Keep up the great works!

    Thank u for dropping by and visiting my sites too!


    • Hi JH,

      Thank you so much for your compliment, I’m flattered. πŸ™‚ I love visiting your site; enjoy reading all about your adventures to the old and less urbanized places in Singapore. Beautiful pictures with a full load of information. I certainly look forward to “following” you on this virtual trip to explore the nooks and crannies in Singapore! πŸ™‚

  4. Ooh! You walked till the bridge area! Why didn’t my friends and I think of doing that? We explored some parts of the railway a few months back and we’re arranging for a train ride either this coming Sunday or in June before the train end its service. We wanted to snap from photos of the route the train goes from the train window. I read that we could actually take the train till kranji area or something and I can’t seem the find that site now. Are you planning to go on a train ride before it ends its service as well?

    • Hi Jolene! πŸ™‚

      Likewise, I’m trying to arrange for a day where my friends and I can enjoy the train ride from tanjong pagar to woodlands (Can we alight here?) or JB as well. Probably sometime in mid-June! I’ve seen so many beautiful pictures of the train journey on other blogs and I know that we will never ever get the opportunity to admire this rustic side of Singapore if we were to miss this last chance. Fortunately, I already have a couple of friends who are keen on making this trip with me so I’ve a feeling that it will be a blast πŸ™‚ When will you be taking a ride on the train?

  5. A locomotive museum is a great idea!
    There’s just something romantic about trains…

  6. Hey, great photos you have there.. Seeing those KTM trains brings back old memories of yesteryears – I used to take them with my mum to visit my grandma in Malaysia when I was a little girl! πŸ™‚

    • Hi there πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for your kind words. πŸ™‚ I haven’t been onboard the train for ages, I believe it’s been close to 2 decades since I took the train to malaysia! Am definitely intending to take a ride one last time before we bid farewell to it… for good.

  7. very nicely taken photos… a good experience to witness the exchange token

    • Hi Hazel πŸ™‚

      Thank you! Yes, we were, indeed, very fortunate to have witnessed the exchange of key token. There might not be another chance to see such an old school exchange, unless we were to venture out of Singapore!

  8. phew.. i almost forgot that it will be closed soon! Have been planning to take the train too! A little bit of history …. πŸ™‚

    • Yes! You have to take the train soon, before it ceases operation for good on 1st July. Alternatively, you might like to take an outdoor photo shoot near the tracks. have seen some couples taking their wedding pics at the railway tracks and the pictures look amazing!

  9. Pingback: bukit timah railway station | The Green Corridor | Singapore . Show Your Support . Spread the Message . Share Your Stories

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