On 11 June 2011, the Nature Society of Singapore organised a walk along the proposed Green Corridor which aims to preserve the historic significance as well as the nature surrounding it after the KTM railway line ceases operation come 30 June 2011.
Being avid photographers interested in historic/old places, a friend Gilbert and I decided to join the walk and take some photos as the fate of the place will be unknown when it’s decommissioned.
Organised by Eugene and led by Margie Hall of the NSS, the walk takes us through the Bukit Timah Railway Station, Clementi Woodlands and ending at Old Holland Road. More than 80 people joined the walk.
At the start of the walk, Margie explained to us the brief history of the station and the railway line.
Soon after, a train pulls over at the station to exchange tokens. The KTM still uses the old token system at this station whereby the train driver will receive a token from the station to give them the authority to travel along the track. Unfortunately we are not near enough to the station to photograph the process, hopefully we get to have another go before it closes. The train moves on after the token exchange towards Woodlands.
Walking along, we were soon greeted by this old sign for the station nestled among the plants.
Opened in 1915, the station itself is a quaint little red-brick building. It’s now gazetted as a conserved building on 27 May 2011.
Here’s another view of the station building and railway tracks towards the north.
Opposite the station building, across the tracks lie the workers’ quarters, where the railway works rest/sleep at the end of the day.
Within the station building is the manually operated signalling room consisting of many levers which controls the routing of the train tracks as well as the signalling to the trains.
One of the participants of the walk asked if she could try her hands on operating a lever and to our surprise, she can. It looks very easy but actually takes a lot of strength to operate it.
Interestingly, while most of the building looks quite alright, the north wall of the building looks quite dilapidated and in need of restoration. I’ve rendered this shot as B&W to bring out the old look.
Hashim also explained to us the token system and showed us how the token machines inside the office work. Unfortunately no photography was allowed inside. Before we left, we asked Hashim’s permission to take a portrait of him.
After thanking Hashim, we moved along, following the track southwards. By then, the group has moved very far ahead. Along the way, we took more pictures.
Along the way the track has to cross a canal, and we saw that a nice little brick culvert was built for this to happen. It was almost covered in undergrowth.
We eventually caught up with the rest of the group near the end of the walk, where there is a bend in the railway track.
The walk ended along Old Holland Road which is across a bridge overlooking the railway track.
The walk has been quite an eye opener for both of us. We hope to come back for a few more shots before it’s officially decommissioned. Thanks to Eugene and Margie for organising the walk.