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 northern signage of the station has also been removed, leaving a small plot of land with holes where the posts used to be.
We first headed to the black truss bridge across Bukit Timah Road/Dunearn Road, which is now safe to explore without the danger of approaching trains. A group of foreigners were also there, taking a group shot of themselves.
On the way back to the station, we ran into a Mr. Kassim who has brought along an antique 4×5 view camera. He’s also got a DIY view camera which he has brought along to shoot the tracks.
From here, we started walking into the Green Corridor. Many people have also turned up to walk along the tracks and get close to nature before they are closed to the public after 18 July 2011.
It’s the second time I’ve walked this stretch of the green corridor and I am still awed by the unspoilt and untouched nature surrounding it.
Further up is a man-made canal, also surrounded by lush greenery.
The entire track is surrounded by lush greenery as well, which is why it’s been dubbed the “Green Corridor”.
We soon arrived at the Holland Road bridge, where one can get an elevated view of both sides of the green corridor.
Much has been said about the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and and a good example of this mantra can be seen further up, where disused sections of the railway track are used possibly as retainers to prevent landslides down the slope.
We soon pass under another section of the Holland Road. I took a shot of the silhouetted figures crossing under it.
We eventually came close to our destination. A break in the fence lets us cross over to the Ghim Moh HDB estate. Some good samaritans have put up a stool and an inverted metal container to let people climb over easily.
From a nearby overhead bridge, one can get a nice view of the railway track among the HDB estate.
A short walk later we arrived at the Ghim Moh Market where we had our breakfast. We spotted these 2 women resting and chatting and Boon Hwee attemped to take a shot and they struck up a conversation. Apparently she has worked near the railway at the old Yeo Hiap Seng factory for a long time and has been walking on it for years, running to the side whenever she heard the horn of the train.
We took a much deserved break and had breakfast at the hawker centre. Jerome, his family and the rest of the remaining folks decided to call it a day. As it was still early, Boon Hwee and I decided to continue to Jalan Hang Jebat after breakfast. I’ll leave that for another blog post.
By the time you read this, the entire railway line will be closed, except for a 3km section between Rail Mall and Rifle Range Road. If you have not been there, you have until the end of July to walk along this stretch of the railway. Don’t forget to support the Green Corridor proposal by “liking” them on their Facebook page!