April 26, 2022

Rail Corridor

Start of Rail Corridor

Kranji to Rail Mall

There had been improvement works done along the rail corridor for the last few years and it had been completed in stages. Part of the work was the laying of the water pipe from Murname Reservoir. The southern section had been completed except for the heritage Singapore Station at Tanjong Pagar. This walk was planned to determine the stage of completion of the rail corridor.

Iron Bridge across Bukit Timah Road

We met up at Kranji MRT Station and started walking at 11.20am. It was raining as we proceeded along the MRT line. At the Kranji Road/Woodlands Road junction we got on to a trail below the MRT track. After about 200m we climbed some steps and found the rail corridor where we turned left. The trail from here to Sungei Kadut Ave is just a footpath, wide enough for one person, with occasional puddles of water so our shoes could not avoid getting wet. But it was fun walking in the rain holding up our umbrellas. There were 6 of us. One additional member started late so we advised him to meet us at Bukit Panjang Plaza where we would stop for our lunch.

Hardened Trail

From Sungei Kadut Ave to the Rail Mall the trail was boarded up for improvement works. We had to walk along Sungei Kadut Ave and then Woodlands Road to Bukit Panjang Plaza where we had lunch. Our seventh member met up with us here.

Rail Mall to Spooner Road

The Interlace

After our lunch break of 30min we walked along Upper Bukit Timah Road until the Rail Mall where we finally returned to the Rail Corridor proper. Here the trail had been improved with red hardened and widened surfaces all the way to Spooner Road where the trail ends for now. Eventually this would end at Tanjong Pagar when the Circle Line Cantonment Station is completed. The hardened trail can take both hikers and cyclists and wide enough for 3 hikers abreast.

At the Rail Mall is the heritage iron bridge crossing Upper Bukit Timah Road. This stretch of the rail corridor all the way to Holland Road is the most natural as it runs beside the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve part of the way. One can observe the wild life and hear the call of a wide variety of birds. Just after Rifle Range Road is another historic iron bridge.

Masjid Hang Jebat

In the early days when the rail corridor was opened the trail was just earth and wild grass without the railway track, the sleepers and the granite stone base. It was difficult walking as certain areas would be worn down collecting water so there were many muddy patches.

Some members left near Beauty World Centre due to other commitments. Soon we walked past Buona Vista, Biopolis and Alexandra Hospital. In an earlier walk we visited the Lost Ark which is accessible from a path near Masjid Hang Jebat.

Station Singapura

Eventually the rain reduced to a drizzle and finally stopped. As it was getting late in the day we observed more people out hiking or cycling as we neared the end of the trail. Just past the access to Spooner Road is a building bearing the name of the station Singapura that the trains would be approaching in the old days. Spooner Road was also where the railway staff used to live and where goods were loaded on to the railway cars. Here too was where the engines were turned around manually for the next trip up north.

We ended our walk at about 6pm. The Kampong Bahru Interchange is at Spooner Road a convenient place for us to catch a ride home.

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