Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Bukit Timah Railway Station (KTM)

One cloudy Sunday at 1.30pm on 10 Jul 2011, I walked to the kopitiam called 'KouFu' just beside Commonwealth Mrt to have a lunch and it would take about 10 mins to reach there, waited for my hubby back from his company at around 2.00pm. After we had lunch about 3.00pm and walked out the Kopitiam. I looked up the sky, going overcast very soon and hopefully it won't rain after I reached at the destination point - Bukit Timah Railway Bridge by public transport that will take us about 15 mins to reach at the alighted bus stop where you could see the bridge just to it.
Bukit Timah Railway Bridge Alighted at the bus-stop, I saw the crowds at the railway bridge where people strolling and snapshots away and children are happy and running along the track and the bridge. I felt as if I was there before when I was a kid and had seen many places looked back a some decades ago. That was 1974, my family and I boarded a train from Bukit Timah to KL to visit my relatives during school holidays and to Pahang and Butterworth too. Memories brought back to life as if I missed those days. Well, I still keep the old photos of KTM railway train in 1980s-1990s.
Abandoned house & toilet
Old Bukit Timah Railway Station As I stepped on the track and as if it seems to be there, recalling the past and I remembered the row of the huts that housed station master's family and Master Station Office who lived next to the station. Suddenly I felt uncomfortable when I saw the crowds as well as children walking and some are running about the track and taking photos without realising there are something out there that made me crazy. I just brushed it off as if nothing happened cos' it's going to rain. Suddenly it started to rain heavily. My hubby and I made a dash to the abandoned house where the toilet is. There are many people who running without carrying umbrella, soaked all over and they seemed happy and don't evenbother to get sick as this is the moment they had stepped the place with memories. I sensed the rain is going to stop very soon and soon it lasted about 10 mins as what I expected.

Rusty Rail-ring and Rusty nut-screw
After the rain stopped, people continued to walk along the track and the station despite the wet road and there is no sunny thus won't make us feel hot and it's cool breeze. I felt pleased and able to take a walk and snapshot everywhere. Some photographers taking pictures and children played happily on the track. I noticed the double tracks are rusty and old when walking along the stones-path beside it
A short history of Bukit Timah Railway
There was once a bullock cart date back in 1870s in the docks which has a single track line running through the foreground. There was double track tram line junction of Tanjong Pagar Rd in 1892s. Due to growing of material and goods moved efficiently to Keppel Harbour which was the main point of import/export trade. The construction of the needed railway started in 1903. The first system centred around the main station at Tank Rd located existing large traffic island in front of the Tank Rd Chettiars Temple. In 1910s, the line was extended south across the river, thus connecting to the Tanjong Pagar docks and all the wharves. A direct link to Johor when the Causeway was constructed in 1923. In the beginning of the heydays of rail as a means of goods transport, communications and travel between Singapore, Malaya and Siam. The Malaya particularly in tin and rubber, could now be transported to the ships by a combination of human sweat and steam power to the markets of the world.
In 1932, a handful of smaller stations were built to serve the suburban parts of Singapore. These we Alexandra, Tanglin Halt and Bukit Timah Stations. Today, only the Bukit Timah Station building remains.
The Bukit Timah Station had been followed the style of the traditional small town stations and were common in the UK and Malaya. It is single-storey brick building with an open-sided waiting hall that fronts the main railway line with an open platform. Constructed with six expressed structural bays, the quaint building houses the station master office, an open waiting area, closed waiting area and a signal office. Its like a cosy country cottage appearance has made it an endearing local landmark.
The Bukit Timah Railway Station has officially gazetted as a conserved building on 27 May 2011 by URA. The Bukit Timah Railway Station is an endearing local landmark, a key building of our railway history. Its conservation serves as a physical reminder of Singapore's role as a transport hub in the region.
Luckily we went there one week before it will condone off on 17 Jul 2011 as the removal works include the clearance of minor buildings, sleepers, tracks, cables, gates, posts and debris around the various sites from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands. Other items to be removed include railway equipment, such as signal lights, level crossings, controllers and traffic lights. The removal works are to be fully completed by 31 Dec 2011.

Signpost and Master Station Office

Signal Levers and 'Corner' station
Policeman & Security guard at the Station
Recently, the Station Master Office had been fenced up to prevent public from entering. My hubby and I managed to take some photos, away from the fence to take a perfect shot inside. There is a police van arrived and stopped at the back of the Station. Sadly, we missed the opportunity to see Station Master who had left after the last train arrived on 30 Jun 2011 and it should be his last working day on that day. Fortunately, I saw Station Master at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station where I had joined the tours conducted by PMB on 25 May 2011.
As we walked along the track and found there was nothing much to see, then we came back to the same spot where the Station Master office located to where the railway bridge stands.

This Bridge is where the student couple were killed on the eve of National Day 8 Aug 2009 at Upper Bukit Timah railway while sitting on the track. It was heard that Republic Polytechnic students ended up drinking at a bar at the Rail Mall and were too intoxicated and tried to react and move themselves away from the path of an oncoming train.

After a long walk at the track, we finally reached Rifle Range Road where there are rows of Terrace Houses and shops along the road. It took about 0.25km from Railway Bridge to Rifle Range Road.

Railway Lamps and Flyover BridgeFungus Mushroom
About 108 miles from Rifle Range Road, there is flyover Bridge where vehicles passing by, while walking along the track, spotted some small railway lamps handing on the pole. Further down the track, I noticed many people peering through at the hill on the side of the bridge wall there laid the tree trunk are fungus mushrooms grew on it. These fungus mushroom are not edible and are poisonous.

Just a few mins walk, there lying the huge broken branches on the track that caused by heavy downpour an hour ago as it looked just fallen down the track as you can see the broken branch had not turned dark brown and the leaves still green and not decay.

Railway Track without fenced up
And about 4 mins walk from the broken branches, there is an open-railway that public would see the traffic along the road without the fenced up. It's so dangerous to walk along this track if photographers or even public with children walk this path at night. I looked down from this track, and I would imagine this would be fatal fall with the height of 4.5metes high above the ground on an incoming vehicles.
Rubber Tyre
I stopped the track and looked down the hill, I noticed the two rubber tyres hidden some brushes along the monkeys where it laid.

Baby monkey (infant) sitting on its mother
There are so many monkeys and infants near the track, sitting on the grass eating fruits that plucked from the trees.
the moment..
Cheese..Smile..Click!There is a one monkey sitting on the grass looking down when I tried to call him and it looks up straight at me with a cheese...SMILE..Captured..Click! So Candid! So cutie!
My hubby and I made our way to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which is near the monkey's land.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Catcat,

    This is a very nice writeup. Is there any way for me to contact you as I would like to use some photos for printing. Thank you and I look forward to your reply soon!