Journeys through Tanjong Pagar

A collection of memories related to the Grand Old Station and journeys made passing through the archways, and of the areas around the railway tracks in Singapore.


[Other railway related posts can be found at: The Romance of the Railway]

Reacting to the news of the closure

I initially wondered if the station would go the way of many old buildings in Singapore. It was a relief to hear that the building was to be conserved. If like me, you would like to see that it is put to use in a way that it remains accessible to the general public, please sign this online petition.

First impressions of train rides to the north

My very first time on the train: impressions of a less than comfortable train ride in a smoke filled cabin of the Mel Malam to Kuala Lumpur.

The railway line around the Bukit Timah area

Impressions and memories of the railway line in what was a rural part of Singapore. This post is also featured on asia! Through Asian Eyes (Stories of Asia beyond the headlines).

Level Crossings

A childhood fascination for level crossings and childhood memories of the area around Bukit Panjang where the last major level crossing in Singapore is.

Part 1 of a walk down the railway line

A Sunday morning spent walking down much of the route down the new Downtown Line from ten mile junction to Bukit Timah Station and rediscovering the lost countryside around the old railway line.

Part 2 of a walk down the railway line

A Sunday morning spent walking down much of the route down the new Downtown Line from ten mile junction to Bukit Timah Station and revisiting the mysteries of the area around Hillview and the Old Ford Factory as well as an old landmark.

Part 3 of a walk down the railway line

The last leg of the trek from the site of the giant Green Spot bottle (at was the Amoy Canning factory), past the site of the former Yeo Hiap Seng factory, to a very green spot in Singapore – the very rustic Bukit Timah Railway Station.

Habib Railway Book Store and Money Changer

The Habib Railway Book Store and Money Changer which has been a feature of the station at Tanjong Pagar for over half a century.

The three Level Crossings of the far north

Discovering more of Singapore’s forgotten countryside where the three northernmost level crossings at Kranji, Sungei Kadut and Stagmont Ring Road are located.

A final journey from Tanjong Pagar: into Malaysia before leaving Singapore

The first leg of a final train journey from Tanjong Pagar from the grand old station to JB Sentral.

A final journey from Tanjong Pagar: the slow train up the length of Johore

The second leg of a final train journey from Tanjong Pagar through places which were significant in the retreat of the British-led forces during the World War II in Jan 1942 that led to the fall of Singapore.

A final journey from Tanjong Pagar: destination Gemas

The destination of a final train journey from Tanjong Pagar: the sleepy Railway Junction town of Gemas.

The Gemencheh River Bridge

More around the destination of a final train journey from Tanjong Pagar: the sleepy Railway Junction town of Gemas – a trip to the site of the ambush in WWII where Australian Forces killed an estimated 700 Japanese troops and destroyed a wooden bridge.

There I go again … another journey through Tanjong Pagar

Yet another journey out of Tanjong Pagar taken in March 2011 to Kluang.

A colourful journey in black and white

The journey out of Tanjong Pagar to Kluang as seen in Black and White.

Would be last encounters with the beloved railway:

A guided walk through the area from Bukit Timah Station to Old Holland Road

A walk guided by Ms Margie Hall of the NSS through the green spaces between Bukit Timah and Ulu Pandan on a portion the main line as part of the Green Corridor Forum that was held on 14 May 2011.

(What will be) The last train from Tanjong Pagar

The last train I am told will be the night train out of Singapore that will leave at 22:30 and will be driven by a very special driver.

Don’t miss the last train!

The last train will leave Singapore on the 30th of June after 108 years of the railway making its way through Singapore. Catch the sights around the railway before they disappear forever.

The last level crossing in Singapore

Level crossings have very much been a feature of the railway in Singapore since the earliest days of the railway. Five operational ones are still left and the last one that will be used would be the one at Kranji, a few minutes before 11pm on 30 June 2011. After that, we would have seen the last of the trains crossing the road.

A final look at Tanjong Pagar Station

A final look at Tanjong Pagar Station joining a tour conducted by the Preservation of Monuments Board, with a focus on the background and architectural features of the grand station building.

Join the party this June at Tanjong Pagar

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station has come alive with crowds not just taking in the sights in and around the station, but hopping on the train out of and into the magnificent station building, as we move into the final month of its use by the Malayan Railway after 79 years.

The departure of the last E&O Train from Tanjong Pagar

On a day when the skies opened, the last E&O Express train to depart from Tanjong Pagar signals an end to the Romance of Railway travel through Singapore.

The last Station Master at Bukit Timah

A tribute to the last Station Master at Bukit Timah, Encik Atan, a quiet and unassuming gentleman, who has worked tirelessly to keep us safe.

The Railway Men of the North

We should also not forget the men who work at the level crossings of the north to keep all of us safe. Here are some of them.

A Walk on the Wild Side of the North

A last look at the railway corridor and the lush greenery of the corridor in the Kranji and Sungei Kadut area in the north of Singapore between the two northernmost level crossings.

The gentleman at the Ticket Counter

Encik Azmi of the Ticket Counter at Tanjong Pagar who will complete 21 years of service at the station on the 30th of June.

A recognisable face from Habib Railway Book Store and Money Changer

Nazir, from the Habib Railway Book Store and Money Changer, an institution which has served Tanjong Pagar for some 75 years.

Encik Ayub, the last Station Master of Tanjong Pagar Station

The last Station Master at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, En. Ayub, who has been with KTM for 30 years.

One last dance on the railway through the green corridor

A last weekend of train operations through Singapore as the railway prepares for life after Tanjong Pagar.

A send off at the weekend for our old friends …

A send off by Singaporeans for the wonderful railway and the people behind the railway on the final weekend.

A walk around the train yard at Tanjong Pagar

A walk taken through the train yard with some new found friends whose connections with the yard go back a long way.

A window into the glory days of the station:

A look back to the early days of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

A look back through newspaper reports and the Willis’ Singapore Guide, 1936, to the early days of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, soon after it was completed at the end of 1931 for the Manufacturers’ Exhibition. Information on the first train to pull in is also included.

A Final Glance

A tearful departure from Tanjong Pagar

The start of a final journey through Tanjong Pagar, taken as tears are shed from the heavens.

The Final Passage to the North

A last glance from the train of a part of Singapore that remains hidden to many.

The Final Homecoming

A last homecoming on the very last train to pull into Tanjong Pagar Railway Station on 30th June 2011.

The Morning After

The Morning After

A walk in the morning after the last day of the railway’s operations through Singapore that took me from Holland Road to The Rail Mall.

A Trek with the Minister of State for National Development on 9 July 2011

A trek led by the Minister of State for National Development, BG Tan Chuan-Jin from Silat Estate to Rail Mall during which thoughts on the possible development of a green spine along the former railway corridor was discussed.

Re-imagining the Rail Corridor

An exhibition put together by the Friends of the Rail Corridor, in association with the Nature Society of Singapore in Oct 2011 – part of a series of events to increase awareness on the ongoing engagement on the use of the former railway land.

Fast vanishing reminders of the railway

Several structures belonging to the former railway have been found to be structurally unsound and termite infested and will be demolished. One, the signal hut at Mandai Gate Crossing is of special significance. Scribbled on its door is a record of the last train’s movements.

Tanjong Pagar one year on

A look at the silent and empty former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station one year after its handover to Singapore.

Faces from a forgotten place

Remembering the many faces of the station – faces that made Tanjong Pagar Railway Station what it was in its days of glory.

The promise that would never be fulfilled

Built with the promise of a grand future, the station, some 79 years after it opened, now sits silently – the promise that it held unfulfilled.


6 responses

11 03 2011
16 06 2011

Such a nostalgic event… back in the 70s, I had fond memories of trains with their smoky engines chucking into tg pagar station and then welcoming relatives from Malaysia.

17 06 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Thanks for dropping by and sharing that! 🙂

22 06 2011

Appreciate this blog. I’ll be coming down to Singapore by train tomorrow and this blog excites me even more.

22 06 2011
Jerome Lim, The Wondering Wanderer

Thanks Izzatina, hope you have a good trip down on the train! 🙂

2 01 2016
Breaking the link – cutting and removing the KTM railway line | Otterman speaks...

[…] When I talk about the train tracks in future, assuming the mangrove remains, I will share Jerome Lim’s voluminous documentation of the railway in the days leading to its departure at Journeys through Tanjong Pagar. […]

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