Friday, 27 May 2011

Tanjong Pagar Railyway Station (1932)

An invitation to this tour by Preservation of Monuments Board, I was received an comfirmation email from them, the schedule date & time of the tour conducted by tour guide. Manytime, I had been passing by the road from Pasir Panjang Road along Keppel Road by public transport, to capture view of this railway station. And also tracks along at Queenstown/Buona Vista area where my usual walks to the Foodmarket. Prior to my visiting and guided by tour guide and his informations, I am able to furnish the history of the railway station at Tanjong Pagar on 25 May 2011
"A short brief of history: Before Johor-Singapore Causeway was built, the railway in Singapore was exclusively limited to the island. The construction of the Johor-Singapore Causeway across the Straits of Johor began in 1919, and it was opened to goods trains on 17th Sept 1923 and to passenger trains on 1st Oct 1923. Previously, passengers and goods trains transferred at Woodlands to a ferry to Johor Bahru and the commecting train on the Peninsula. Tanjong Pagar Railway station was completed in 1932".

I was schedule to meet in 10mins early before 4pm at the entrance where the tour guide & others were waiting for 45mins tour. Tour guide explained on how Tanjong Pagar Railway station was built and the historic of Johor-Singapore Causeway was built before completion of the Tanjong Pagar railway station in 1932, it's been 79 years and remembered its heydays. Its operation will close at the end of 30 June 2011 and will relocate by 1st July 2011 at the woodlands checkpoint
Outside entrance of the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, there are 4 towering statues on each side, represent the 4 pillars of Malaya: Agriculture, Commeerce, Transport and Industry was done by Rudolfo Nolli, a Italian sculptor and architect. The signboard showed 'FMSR' on each statues stands for "Federated Malay States Railway". There are 4 'boxes' below the statues was actually light fixtures. The 'entrance' to the railway station was early as 20th century European architecture with tall ceiling and arch.

The 'architecture' of the railway station had captured my attention and learned from tour guide that this architectural/Art Deco style was influenced by Finland's Helsinki station. Tour guide told me that the eight-pointed star design on the ceiling near the entrance of the station represents harmony and balance. Above the star (white) at the ceiling of the station had 8 points, was an auspicious number and architecture around the station has a blend of East and West.

The tour guide highlighted about the mosaic panels in the main lobby of the station. These 6 group of each panel wall is the portrait of Malayan's core activities, were tin-mining, rice-planting, rubber tapping, maritime trade, coconut-planting and agriculture. The mosaic panels tiles were made of coloured rubber through a patented process created by Singapore Rubber Works
Tanjong Pagar Railway station had luxury quarters with well-furnished rooms and bath tubs for guests's stay. It is currently in bad shape as it was never maintained and there was also a suicide that took place in one of the rooms.

Lamp & ticket counterThe main vaulted hall in its early days, was once installed a clock and lamps( rectangle shape), has long disappeared but the hall still remains and installed a long lamp (above). The ticketing counter was once made of solid teak wood but now it is painted in white.

Railway Food Station
Inside the main hall, there are two platforms on each side - Departure platform and Arrival platform. Surrounding the hall, there are also VIP Room, Resting Area, Railyway Food Station..etc
Dep. & Arr. trainNow you can see the 2 trains (above) a close up from both side of the platforms(Dep. & Arrival) which I took photos when the trains arrive at around 5.05pm(arrival) and few minutes later at 5.20pm (dep.)

Canteen & Film CrewsInside the Arrival platform, there are Railway Station Canteen (M. Hasan) where passengers sit down for a meal, snacks and a cup of coffee and drink while waiting for the incoming trains, on the next door is the Quick Baggage store (1st Pic above). I saw the Filming Crews (Malays) at the Departure platform to film the movie scene of this station and also at the arrival platform where I stood there. I believe that they had an approval from the management.

Carriage & Hydraulic Buffers (Above)

Switch lever & Buffers
In front of the canteen, there are 2 rail-tracks in between the line and 2 hydraulic buffers. These 2 buffers were designed by Ransomes and Rapier, allow the train to stop in front and to prevent crash towards the building. There are 2 manual switch lever which control the track switch to allow a train to switch the track by reversing. And there is also a carriage (Pullcart) which carries staffs to check on the tracks from time to time. The manual switch lever (3rd pics) which controls the train to switch the lane.

As I walked inside the canteen and went out at the back door of the canteen where I saw motorists had parked their cars and saw the parking van near the track. At the back of building is very much like European style.

As I walked to the left side of the building, there is a clock (1st pic above) was built on top of the building. I strolled along this path, I managed to capture the photo of the each doors where the staffs work on their duties outside the parked cars, that is - Door to Door service and Parcel Office Express. And also the parking lots for staffs only.
Parking lotsThis tour gave me insights of this station and tour guide's useful informations, am able to roam the place at the station after this 45mins tour.

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