Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal: The Former Royal Malaysian Customs Godown Lives On

This post about the former site of the Royal Malaysian Customs in Singapore marks the 400th blog post on RailTravel Station. Thank you for your support!

Once a hive of activity for cargo trains arriving into Singapore from Malaysia, the former site of the Federal Customs Collection Station of the Royal Malaysian Customs at Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore continues its transportation legacy today as the new Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal. Instead of KTM freight trains arriving and departing a couple of times a week, the site now sees buses streaming in constantly throughout the day from SBSTransit, SMRT and Go Ahead Singapore.

The former address of Royal Malaysian Customs, Railway Godown No. 2, Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 168789 is now Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal, 11A Spooner Road, Singapore 168795.

Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal opened on 10 March 2018, replacing the former New Bridge Road Bus Terminal located outside of Outram Park MRT Station, which is now closed to make way for the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Elective Care Centre.

For a viewpoint on the Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal relating to the facilities and bus service information, click here.


The Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal is located along a new stretch of Spooner Road, extending on from the angled right turn to the former Malayan Railways Running Bungalow and Quarters.

The former KTM quarters of Kemuning and Melati blocks, as well as the running bungalow can be seen from Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal. The two residential blocks are now used as interim rental housing for low income and needy families, while the Running Bungalow now functions as the Modern Montessori Pre-School Spooner Road Centre.


The former lush green railway yard is now populated by Lush Green-liveried buses.


Service information boards are available around the terminal, showing the vicinity of the neighbouring Spottiswoode Park Estate and the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.



The boarding berths and bus services available at Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal.

Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal (and the future URA carpark) is linked to the nearby Blair Road by a new universally-accessible covered linkway, which connects to the existing sheltered walkway to Spottiswoode Park Estate.



The future URA carpark is located on the former headshunt of the goods lines on Kampong Bahru Yard.


The former site of the E&O shed, KTM coaches shed, loco shed and turntable is now a concrete-based temporary holding space for the roofs of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station platform while the site of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is used for the construction of Cantonment MRT Station of the Circle Line Stage 6, closing the gap between HarbourFront and Marina Bay MRT Stations.

A small portion of the Sri Muneswarar Temple walls can still be seen from Blair Road.


The former staircase to the Sri Muneswarar Temple is now removed, but you can easily see where it is with the “new” barrier aligning perfectly with the former entrance, and with it being slightly higher than the rest of the existing barriers.

No need for turntables at the yard anymore – the buses can simply loop around the terminal, or make a u-turn by themselves.



The overview of the former railway yard and the new Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal as seen from Kampong Bahru Road.

On closer look, it appears that only the roofs have been transplanted to this temporary holding site. It is not known where the original pillars are currently at or are still in existence from these photos.




While the Kampong Bahru Yard used to be served by off-service trains only, you can now most certainly enter the piece of land by regular on-service buses.

The former entrance to the Royal Malaysian Customs on the Kampong Bahru Road slipway towards Bukit Purmei at the junction of Kampong Bahru Road and Jalan Bukit Merah is now a pedestrian entrance to the Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal.


A double-decker bus exiting from the turntable Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal, running along the former goods line of Kampong Bahru Yard.


Heading out of Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal and the former Royal Malaysian Customs on a bus, passing by the former turntable.

Running along the former alignment of the goods lines, with the current Tanjong Pagar Railway Station platform roofs and former site of the coach and loco sheds to the left.


The original alignment of Spooner Road, now as an entrance to the former KTM quarters (rental HDB flats) and the running bungalow (Modern Montessori Pre-School).

The Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal is a positive development on the former railway land in Singapore. However, I do really wish that much more development can be done on the stretch of land from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands. After all, it’s been almost 7 years since the closure and pretty much almost nothing has been done yet (aside from the PUB Murnane Pipeline Project which is all underground). Once the roofs of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station platforms has been transplanted back, I really do hope that there would be something new to be built on the former site of the rest of the yard. After all, if everyone wishes to keep the land as it is currently, wouldn’t it be better to simply not evict the railway and let trains continue to run through?

Today, it is impossible to get from Woodlands to Tanjong Pagar in 28 minutes by public transport. Let’s not hinder Singapore’s development and progress by preserving the former railway line as it is – closed and empty.

For a viewpoint on the Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal relating to the facilities and bus service information, click here.

 

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