Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

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

Being the last weekend of operations, there was a big crowd when we got there. The majority of them are queuing up to buy train tickets out of Singapore.

A large crowd queues to get the remaining tickets for the last train rides from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
The long queue to get the remaining tickets for the last train rides out of Tanjong Pagar.
A sign indicating that the day's tickets have been sold out.

The main hall of the station features a rounded ceiling and a kampong-style hut which is Malaysia Tourism Board to advertise their Home Stay packages.

Main Hall

On both sides, there are groups of murals depicting the life in early Singapore. Because shooting upwards produces quite a bit of keystone distortion, I’ve corrected them in LightRoom 3.

Murals depicting the life in early Malaysia.
Another set of murals depicting the life in early Malaysia.

There’s also a crowd eating at the various food stalls in the station before they move out. Many of them eat at the outdoor seating area by the arrival platform.


Visitors having a meal at the outdoor seating area at the arrival platform.
Visitors having a meal at the outdoor seating area at the arrival platform.

The various stall owners are having a field day serving the influx of customers. This will probably be their busiest weekend before they close for good or move their shops elsewhere.

Chapati maker at the M. Hasan 2 Railway Food Station
The stall owner is all smiles as he serves the gravy to the customer.

On the other side of the food court, there’s a lady making the patties for the very popular Ramly Burgers. Another lady put the patties into the buns to make the final burgers. Somehow it didn’t occur to me to shoot her…

A lady makes the patties for the very popular Ramly Burger.

Next door, a man is busy making teh tarik and other hot drinks. There’s also a long queue for this.

Making teh tarik
Making more teh tarik.

On the platform, many people are taking photographs of the track, buildings and the platform itself as a form of remembrance after the station closes on 1 Jul 2011. The appear to be undampened by the rain which came shortly after we arrived.

Visitors trying to get a shot of the train at the departure platform of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Rain pours down onto the tracks at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
A father takes a photo of his child with the train in the background.
Photographers taking a shot of the departure platform through the grille gates.
Departure Platform

Inspired by a photograph in a post at A Journey Till the End, I decided to go find the house which was featured in it. Walking along Keppel Road, I eventually found it. Unfortunately there are no trains passing by and I don’t have the time to wait for the next one which is an hour away.

2 visitors exploring the old signalling house by the railway tracks.

I wanted to get closer, so I went back to the station to get to the other side.

A closer look at the old signalling house

Nearby is this interesting locked door in a brick compartment covered with overgrown plants.

Leaving the station, I found that the light is now better, so I took another shot of it.Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

More photos of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station can be found on my Flickr Photoset.


  1. Hi hi,

    I was also at the Station, around 12:30, meeting up with some friends to bring them up the tracks (we went to Kranji, Hang Jebat and Holland) to see and photograph.

    How do you do keystoning in Lightroom? 🙂 I usually don’t do it, and the only time I did was for my blog.

    The Station was too crowded for proper photography, wasn’t it? I’m just glad I started my project early and honestly, it’s much better without the crowd there. 🙂

    Just a suggestion – if you want a nice shot of the Station from the front, get there about 7 something, 8, and if the sunlight happens to favor you, you would get a golden glow on the front of the station. 🙂


  2. In Lightroom, under the “Develop” module, go into the Lens Corrections section and then you can adjust the vertical and horizontal keystoning, plus rotation and distortion adjustments. That’s how I did mine, and I try to straighten shots of some buildings as well.

    I was there with some friends until about 12, then we went for lunch and I came back to shoot. Due to the recent surge in interest in the station, it’s now extremely crowded. Didn’t get any train coming into the station as we gave up waiting and it arrived while we were in a car on the way out. Talk about Murphy’s Law!

    I went back yet again today, also exploring the area behind that house right up to the depot and caught some trains coming and leaving. A KTM staff was very angry over the people on the tracks and shouted for them to leave as a train rolls in. He then chased all of us out as well, but we stayed on as he went to the depot side. Also saw a token exchange here as well, something which I thought was only done over at the Bukit Timah Station.

    Yeah, I figured from the direction of the light that the morning will be a better time to shoot the building, weather permitting. But the station will still be there, so I probably have a lot more time to get a nice shot. 🙂


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