11th Anniversary of Closure of KTM Singapore Sector
1 July 2022 marked 11 years since the KTM Singapore Sector between Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Woodlands Train Checkpoint (Woodlands CIQ) closed to all rail traffic and the land reverted back to Singapore from Malaysia. The stretch of land from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Rail Corridor Kranji MRT Viaducts Access Point now forms the Rail Corridor.
On this occasion, I had originally decided to take Ekspres Selatan 41dn from Gemas to JB Sentral as it would have been the first KTM Intercity train to enter Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) on 1 July 2022 after the temporary suspension of KTM train services between JB Sentral and Kempas Baru for Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double-Tracking Project (EDTP) works.
However, KTM had sent KTM Intercity trains down to JB Sentral since 19 June 2022, so I didn’t get the first train in to JB Sentral after all. Nevertheless, it was still a train ride on 30 June and 1 July 2022, and made a nice start for my annual visit to the former railway in Singapore.
From Woodlands Train Checkpoint (Woodlands CIQ) after alighting from the Shuttle Tebrau 73dn, I took a combination of buses down slowly to Bukit Timah Railway Station, since the direct 170 was stuck in Causeway traffic.
Bukit Panjang Gate
I first visited as the 960 I was on was serving it nearby, and 960 wouldn’t get me down further along anyway.
New PCN gates for vehicles have been installed at Bukit Panjang Gate, and a new sign with a speed limit of 10km/h for bicycles have been installed.
The loops (in stadium terms) and other parallel track of the Rail Corridor Test Track is also undergoing some renovation of sorts which is under way.
The hut is still boarded up with the zinc rusting away, and the exterior fence added in after the closure has now been overgrown with plants on it.
The land opposite from the hut is still being used by Land Transport Authority (LTA) for Contract 801B (C801B) Asset Replacement and Reliability Enhancement Works for Bukit Panjang Light Rapid Transit.
I had not originally wanted to visit Bridge 1861 since it’s not something that I regularly do annually, but I realised that the 170 I was on was now on a new route via Beauty World MRT Station and does not serve Bus Stop 42089 Opp Bt Timah Plaza any more, which I would prefer to use to access Bridge 1871.
As such, I used The Rail Mall bus stop for a visit to Bridge 1861 and to change buses too.
The new access point for Bridge 1861 is taking shape.
Heading up the new side steps for Bridge 1861, with the new gentle road ramp up to the new toilets still remaining closed.
New signs point towards landmarks along the Rail Corridor.
The familiar looking Bridge 1861.
A new sign describing Bridges 1861 and 1871 has been mounted on the supports before the bridge.
The Rail Corridor sector ahead between Bridge 1861 and Hillview MRT Station is still closed as of 1 July 2022.
New toilets are coming up at Bridge 1861.
After another bus ride from The Rail Mall to Bus Stop 42089 Opp Bt Timah Plaza on 184, I began my walk to Bukit Timah Railway Station via Bridge 1871 along the former track alignment parallel to Rifle Range Road.
The bridge number of Bridge 1871 has been cleaned up and revealed nicely.
The nicely embossed namesake of Dorman Long & Co on the truss of Bridge 1871.
Heading on the south side of Bridge 1871.
The new sign describing Bridges 1861 and 1871 has also been mounted on the supports before the bridge.
Looking back on Bridge 1871 with the original KM772.50 kilometer post still in tact.
Continuing down to Bukit Timah Railway Station, with new access points along the sides of it.
A new welcome park has been manicured on the old yard area, offering easier access from King Albert Park MRT Station.
Bukit Timah Railway Station
Looks like there’s a new gentle ramp up to the platform of Bukit Timah Railway Station.
The things that made me feel a tad unfamilar about this year were 1. Why has the station sign on the northern side of the platform magically re-appeared and 2. Why are there dodgy-looking Wickham trolleys on the loop line and siding?
The crowded Bukit Timah Railway Station, which I would learn shortly after that there was an opening ceremony that morning. Looks like I arrived just in time for a visit then.
NOTE: A separate article will be written about the new Bukit Timah Railway Station.
I think many media outlets have covered it already, so you can go read and watch about it from others for now. This article will be focusing on my usual annual visit.
A new pavilion called The Yard is now built by the former road for horses heading to and from the Turf Club.
There is an information board on the story of the Rail Corridor starting from 1903 with the opening of Singapore-Kranji Railway till now.
I am pleased and grateful to be a small part of the renovated Bukit Timah Railway Station and surroundings. Many thanks to Kay Ngee Tan Architects for reaching out and accommodating my facts changes on the story board, and most importantly KTM Berhad for inviting me and making my Tren Khas Terakhir Stesen Tanjong Pagar 1030up train ride even possible.
A map of the renovated Bukit Timah Railway Station and surroundings have been placed at the former road for horses heading to and from the Turf Club.
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Walking from the bus stop to the station entrance.
The clock by the side of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station building is undergoing renovations.
The empty taxi queue and driveway.
Peeking through the fence for a look at the façade of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
The façade of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station behind the fences.
And like a train, I visited the yard after arriving at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Walking on the back road passing by the Circle Line 6 Project Information Centre on Spottiswoode Park Road.
The other side of the façade of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station from Spottiswoode Park Road.
Unfortunately no Bandung, Nasi Lemak, or Chapati breaks for me here at the platform canteen.
Walking between the hoardings for the CCL6 Cantonment MRT Station which will be underneath Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Turning along Spottiswoode Park Road to the yard as a pedestrian.
Kampong Bahru Yard
Nothing much has changed here at Kampong Bahru Yard since it’s still being used as the storage area for the platforms of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Sri Muneswarar Peetam Hindu Temple was the former Hindu temple located inside Kampong Bahru Yard, which has since moved to 16 Ubi Road 4, Singapore 408624.
Kampong Bahru Yard now houses the platform roofs of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station while construction of Cantonment MRT Station is under way.
Once used for parking trains, part of the former Kampong Bahru Yard land is now used for parking cars.
Looking down at Kampong Bahru Yard from the overhead bridge over Kampong Bahru Road.
Royal Malaysian Customs
Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal now sits on the site of the former Federal Customs Collection Station of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department.
I decided to end my 11th anniversary visit by taking a bus out of Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal to depart from the former yard by a public transport vehicle.
My sentiments of keeping the Rail Corridor remains the same as what I wrote about last year, which has also been my beliefs since 1 July 2011.
However, with the renovated Bukit Timah Railway Station this year, history is better preserved for future generations to come, despite being some mistakes around the information boards around the station and vicinity. Plots of Bukit Timah Railway Station have also been combined to form a better curated park for recreation especially at the former yard. This has a special place in my heart as I had spent a good chunk of time trainspotting at Bukit Timah Railway Station while trains were still running in Singapore.
But realistically though, 11 years is a long time for restoration, especially when considering that Bukit Timah Railway Station was in a dreadful overgrown state in 2019, which means the physical work of this restoration only took less than 2 years. I feel that poor Bukit Timah Railway Station had been neglected from 2011 to 2019.
Nevertheless, with the progress of Bukit Timah Railway Station this year on 1 July 2022, I look forward to other improvements in following years, and hopefully on more 1 Julys as well.
I also almost always forget that 1 July is also RailTravel Station’s anniversary since 2014, and it’s been a great 8 years and counting so far. I guess it’s due to me prioritising the anniversary of the closure of KTM Singapore Sector more.
So, thanks for visiting and your support!