When traveling abroad, my favorite means of transportation is the train. It’s rumbling, and it feels like a ritual of departure. The train or train travel depicted in movies and works of art is always romantic. The slow rhythm can accommodate the imagination of traveling.
Singapore also had an era of train travel. Most of the railways in the British colonial period have been demolished, leaving the railway station and part of the railway bridges, and gradually transforming the green corridor that grows about 24 kilometers. This section of railway once departed from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in the south of Singapore, passing through the suburbs, secondary forests and mud bogs, to Johor Bahru in Malaysia.
The railway track was first built in the early 20th century, connecting the major cities on the Malay Peninsula, and also sending tin and rubber from the Malay Peninsula to the Singapore port. Until 2011, the railway and part of the land along the railway belonged to the Malaysian Railway Corporation. With the signing of the land exchange agreement, the terminus of the Malaysian Railway was moved to Woodlands, and Singapore also regained land along the railway.
In addition to the Singapore-Malaysia Railway that spans north and south, Singapore actually has a little-known Jurong Railway with a total length of about 19.3 kilometers. It was opened in 1966 when Singapore began to vigorously develop its economy after independence. The railway was developed by Bukit Timah. The branch extends to Jurong Wharf and factories in the west. This branch is mainly used for transportation of raw materials and is one of the important economic arteries in the founding era of Singapore. With the opening of the Jurong Railway, raw materials from the Malay Peninsula can be sent to the Jurong factory through the railway line for processing, and the products produced in Jurong can also travel north to the peninsula through the railway and exported to all parts of the world. However, with the gradual improvement of land transportation, the railway gradually lost its aura, and ceased to operate in the mid-1990s, and was gradually abandoned. At present, most of the railways have been demolished, but a small part of the railways and iron bridges have been retained as a testimony to the old traffic.
The Jurong Railway line runs westward from Bukit Timah to Clementi, Bukit Panjang and directly to Jurong. Many sections of the railway line have been swallowed by dense green forests. It is not easy to explore slowly along the railway line. However, there are a few places where we can still photograph the lonely figure of the Jurong Railway, such as the train iron bridge across the Ulu Pandan River. The model is simple and the bridge body is still strong.
The piers are full of wandering plants, like monuments to the forgotten era. The river flows faintly, and the iron bridge of the train is lost. Time has stopped or disappeared?
If we are willing to give them some time and take a good look, these old days are still alive, hiding in the corner, silently telling their own stories. I tried to follow the railway, looking for its previous path, in the direction of the railway to Bukit Timah, and found that the section of the railway crossing Clementi Road, there is actually a renovated train tunnel, the rails and sleepers are kept intact.
The tunnel has also been repaired, with rusty railroad tracks, old sleepers, and little greenery crawling freely. The two ends of the tunnel lead to the rugged green forest. This tunnel is very photogenic, with light and green at the end, and it definitely has the potential to become a hot spot for online celebrities. Although this tunnel entrance is located on the side of the main road, it is not easy to find because it is not clearly marked. I am not going to tell you clearly that anyone with a heart can find it. Doesn’t this add to the fun of exploring the secrets?