Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

On an overcast, drizzly afternoon, I visited Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, the current terminus in Singapore for all trains to and from Malaysia and beyond. On July 1, 2011, trains will no longer stop here and services will move 30 kilometers north to Woodlands Train Checkpoint. No one knows what will happen to this splendid, Art Deco-influenced building once services cease here.

I was not the only person at the station, camera in hand. Since the closing was announced, illustrators and photographers have flocked here to capture what might soon be lost. I wandered up and down the single platform, watching travelers munch on banana fritters and drink teh tarik. I met three feral cats: one sleeping on the platform, another curled up on a chair, and a third in the bathroom. I passed by a wall of faded “Eastern and Orient Express” posters from the heyday of train travel, touting the journey from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok as “the most exotic train journey in the world.”

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A few more photos are on Flickr. And, if you find trains and train stations as fascinating as I do, I highly recommend Paul Theroux’s The Great Railway Bazaar.