Earlier this year, my friend Yu-Mei Balasingamchow wrote this wonderful blog post about the soon-to-be-“refurbished” Rail Corridor, and my friend Kate McFarlane, wrote a child- and pet-friendly guide to the same. The Rail Corridor is a lovely 24-kilometer stretch of former rail tracks going from Tanjong Pagar Station in the Central Business District all the way to Woodlands Checkpoint. It was slated for possible development when the train stopped, but the government agreed to hold off on real estate development.
According to Kate, “This March, the Rail Corridor will be closed for three years to construct the Murnane Pipeline, after which grand plans have been revealed to create a more permanent public space. [There] will be bike paths, and tunnels, and even shower facilities.” So, I took my parents to the Bukit Timah railway station stretch of the Corridor before it likely becomes another managed/manicured “garden.” (The artist renditions in this Tech Insider piece do not inspire *shudder*.)
I last visited this portion of The Green Corridor in December of 2010, not a month after I had moved to Singapore. Then, I chatted up the friendly station master, whose primary tasks were to regulate passing trains and grant eager tourists permission to take photographs. Today, we ran into a number of dog walkers and trail runners. Then, I wrote that the Bukit Timah railway station would be preserved. Today, the structure is in a horrible state of disrepair (broken windows, peeling paint, etc.) and the station sign is practically indecipherable.
After exploring the station, we walked north towards The Rail Mall, before finding an exit somewhere along the route once we were all tired! It was as blissfully quiet and unhurried experience as is possible in densely developed Singapore—not a building or road in sight and the only sound the trilling of birds overhead.