The recently reopened railway corridor at Bukit Timah offers a new place for visitors to explore nature in urban Singapore. When it was announced in April that renovations have been completed, I knew that it was a place that I have to visit!
The newly opened section of the Railway Corridor spans between The Rail Mall and King Albert Park and is 4km long. Suitable for an early morning workout!
Snippets of history
Prior to 2011, trains used to run daily between Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Station and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur.
The Singapore section of the railway line runs between the heart of the city at Tanjong Pagar to the northern tip at Woodlands. The track cuts through iconic heartland districts such as Buona Vista, Ulu Pandan and Bukit Timah.
However, the terminus has since been moved from the heart of the city to Woodlands. This left the entire stretch of railway within the city obsolete.
The land occupied by the track has since been reserved for recreation and heritage preservation.
While doing my research, I found this amazing site that contains detailed documentation of the tracks before their removal.
How to get there
There are no definitive start and end points for the trail. You can choose to drop off the trail at any of the countless openings throughout.
At the time of writing, the northernmost section of the trail is situated right beside The Rail Mall. The nearest MRT station is Hill View Station.
From the Rail Mall, there’s a small opening at the car park that leads you onto the trail.
There is a very clear sign that leads you onto the trail.
Along the trail
As mentioned earlier, the newly restored section of the trail is 4km long. Throughout the trail, there are sections of dirt paths, concrete paths, gravels and even rubbered flooring.
Be sure to stop by the truss bridge to take some photos! It can get very crowded on weekends. To my surprise, when I visited on an early Saturday morning it was relatively empty.
There are remnants of the tracks throughout the trail. These are far and few between as most of them have been removed as part of the restoration!
The section near Rifle Range road has been restored into a well-preserved garden.
Cyclists and pedestrians share the same trail. Always unmount your bike if you’re crossing the bridge for safety!
READ ALSO: A guide to exploring Lazarus Island
Bukit Timah Railway Station
You’ll pass by the Bukit Timah Railway Station on the trail. This station was primarily used as a freight interchange for the railway line.
It was built to the style of small-town railway stations found in the United Kingdom. After the cessation of operations of the railway, the station has been conserved but not restored. When you visit, you will observe that a lot of the building’s structure has been torn down.
If you still have the energy, you can choose to continue all the way to Tanjong Pagar station. Most of the southern sections have been restored.
When I visited, I initially wanted to end off my day here. Given that I still had energy, I decided to continue on towards the southern regions.
Towards Tanjong Pagar Station
After Bukit Timah Railway Station, the trail becomes mostly well-pathed concrete. This makes it a very good trail for people to jog on.
The forested area has also been replaced with more urban concrete.
I ended my trek for the day at Buona Vista. In total, I’ve walked close to 10km and 12,000 steps!
READ ALSO: Morning hike at Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve
Things to bring
- Ample amount of water.
- Insect Repellant. There are plenty of mosquitoes especially around the more forested areas.
- Good pair of footwear.
- Cap against the harsh sun.
It’s heartwarming to see more green spaces being conserved in highly urbanised Singapore. Even more so when the area holds an enormous amount of historical importance.
Despite being a hot and sunny day, it didn’t feel the part due to the ample shade from surrounding vegetation.
I’d highly recommend checking out the Railway Corridor for those of you looking for more pockets of nature in Singapore.
I can’t wait for the northern sections of the trail to be renovated to do a complete end to end Railway Corridor trek!
Looking for more adventures?
There are plenty of outdoor activities to do in tiny Singapore! If you haven’t been already, check out our trip to Pulau Ubin! It’s a tiny island off the northeastern coast of Singapore. A quick and fast escape from Singapore!