The Lion City Bucket List: Walking the Bukit Timah Railway Line

Having been raised in the beautiful Forest of Dean, spending time in the great outdoors was something I was raised to appreciate. I find it frustrating here in Singapore that each outdoor adventure is a sweaty affair. Living in Geneva, a walk along the lake with Bryan, my pug, was a daily event. Occasionally we would head up into the surrounding hills together or, of a summer weekend, the three of us would head to see some of the almost deserted ski resorts for a hike around the mountains.

 

Click the images for a closer look

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An abandoned building opposite the old Bukit Timah Station
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More of that same abandoned building
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Some sleepers remaining outside the Bukit Timah Station
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The Bukit Timah Railway Station
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The old station sign, you can imagine this will be unreadable in a few more years

 

 

 

 

 

 

We learned a little of the Bukit Timah Railways history during our orientation weekend back in March 2013 when we were sent to Singapore for  5 days to decide whether we would like to live here. We were told how the railway used to be owned by Malaysia making the entire line, which runs through the centre of Singapore, Malaysian land until 2011 when it was completely shut down. The only thing stopping us from exploring the Bukit Timah Railway before now is the Singapore heat but with a newfound sense of purpose, we finally got around to it a couple of weeks ago.

After a bit of a google, I found the best guide for the walk on the Green Corridor  website. With taxi’s being fairly cheap here in Singapore we decided to hail one down and ask to be dropped off at King Albert Park so we could join the railway by the steel truss bridge over Bukit Timah Road. Joining the old tracks after a short incline, we were soon at the old train station. It looks like this place closed down much more than 3 years ago, it’s so over grown and if we were the only people there then I think it would have quite a eerie feel to it. I had read since our walk that it has been closed to passengers since 1940 so that explains a lot!

It took us much less than the suggested one hour to reach the Holland Road exit point so we decided to stick to the railway for the next section from Holland Road to Buona Vista thankful for smart phones and the 1.5 litre bottle of Evian I had thrown in a ruck sack. It was again, much less than the recommended 90 minutes before we reached the exit near the Buona Vista MRT station but the ease of getting home from there was our cue to head back. I think had we been more prepared, we could have easily started at the section before or continued on the next section to Queensway. With Only 7 weekends left until we move and only 4 of those weekends being in Singapore, I’m not sure we will get the chance to visit the other railway sections but I am thankful that we at finally made the time to explore this peaceful green area of Singapore.

The railway is a popular place for cyclists and dog walkers alike. Possibly one of the friendliest places we have visited  in Singapore, almost everyone we passed gave a friendly greeting.

If you are planning on walking the Bukit Timah Railway, I would advise that you head out early with plenty of water and a smart phone or one of the handy maps from the green corridors website to guide you and don’t forget your camera to snap some of the old buildings and the beautiful green flora!

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Mrs D xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

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