Preserving the KTM Rail Track

Askmelah’s Note: When the KTM train station and track were returned to Singapore in Jul 2011, it suddenly aroused the unseen nostalgic feelings among the young and old. There was a sudden call from the public to preserve the rail track and keep the “green lungs” untouched. The minister of National Development had assured the public that the lush greenery surrounding them would be preserved. By far, the best suggestion is incidentally by a foreigner (below) in suggesting that Singapore develops walking and cycling tracks along the dismantled rail tracks. Now it may even encourage many residents to use this track for both leisure as well as safe transport route to cycle to work. Not only that it is safe, it is green, it is healthy, it may relieve some of the congestion on the MRT trains and CTE/SLE highway. It benefits everyone and the intangible benefits are immense.

Another suggestion by another forumer Liu Ge Hui is also worth considering: he suggests to preserve the entire railway by creating a number of stop stations along the way, renovate these stops stations, and putting a few trains served to travel between Tanjong Pagar and Woodland stations. With this, we are creating another unique transport system – train system. Starting from Tanjong Pagar to Woodland, we have Buona Vista, RailMall, Mindef, Bukit Panjang, Mandai Zoo and Woodland. By making use of these locations and putting a train in service, we can serve this as another special transport for the working people, for tourism, for family outing and others. If this happens, it should be very exciting for tourist to go to Zoo by train via shutter service.

[Updated 6 Oct 2011: It’s now called Rail Corridor]

Have both walking and cycling tracks

source: the straits times 16 Jul 2011

While visiting Singapore last weekend, I read a most interesting article written by Tay Suan Chiang (The Rail Life, Life!, July 9).

She gave a very detailed description of a walk along the railway link to Malaysia. Details of the walk were very clear, so on Sunday, armed with a good map of Singapore, my wife and I set out to walk about 14km of the 26km track.

The walk was a most enjoyable experience and I was interested to read in the press a number of suggestions as to what should be done with this 26km strip of land. I do hope that the Government listens to these proposals and sets the land aside as another recreational corridor running from the south to the north of the island.

I have noted from our visits to the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority that, eventually, a series of trails will run around Singapore.

This is great, and I think that another link through the centre of the island would be an additional asset.

So those who propose a walking track along the railway reserve get my full support. However, the proposal that a cycling track could be located there also deserves consideration.

The reserve appears to be about 50m to 100m wide, I would guess, and there is plenty of room for a walking trail and a separate sealed cycle track, possibly along the permanent way, once the rails and sleepers have been removed.

Over to you, Singapore. We look forward to many happy walks in the future.

Gordon Andreassend

Hong Kong

KTM greenery to be preserved: Khaw

Source: The Straits Times Jul 18, 2011

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan (centre) walking along the KTM tracks with members of the public and their pets yesterday. His family and dog Tammy also accompanied him on the walk. — ST PHOTO: NURIA LING

THE iconic tracks of the KTM railway will be dismantled from today, but Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan assured the public that the lush greenery surrounding them will be preserved.

Walking the tracks with his family and pet dog Tammy yesterday evening, the minister added that after the tracks are dismantled, parts of the path will be reopened to the public again.

Speaking to reporters after the walk, Mr Khaw said there were many possibilities for housing development in the areas currently occupied by the tracks.

‘But we will do it in a way where we can still preserve this green spine. I’m quite sure it can be done and it will be very nice. We can have urban development but still maintain the greenery,’ he said.

The railways tracks will be dismantled and returned to Malaysia by the end of the year as part of the agreement between the two countries.

Mr Khaw said that his ministry had initially hoped to keep the tracks open to the public for two months before starting to dismantle them. But that timeframe was shortened because the contractors were worried that the dismantling could not be completed by the year-end deadline.

Govt studying ways to keep KTM tracks as green spine

Source: Todayonline  Jul 10, 2011

The National Development Ministry is studying ways to retain the old KTM railway tracks as a green spine for nature and leisure.

The railway line running through Singapore was closed after the KTM train station at Tanjong Pagar moved to Woodlands on July 1.

Writing in his blog yesterday, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said he sees a “green opportunity” for urban development that will not compromise the development potential of the lands surrounding the track.

He hopes Singaporeans will come forward with their ideas to “co-develop a workable and practical scheme”.

Mr Khaw said he had hoped to take on the project himself but, with housing matters taking up most of his time, he found a ready volunteer in Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin.

Mr Khaw said Brigadier-General (NS) Tan has identified several angles to work from: The green aspect, heritage and history, and innovative land use marrying development and conservation.

BG Tan has been tasked to consult widely with experts, volunteers, students and residents.

And yesterday morning, he took a trek along the railway line accompanied by several non-governmental organisations such as the Nature Society, which is pushing to keep the railway line as a green corridor, as the tracks link areas rich in biodiversity such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the mangroves in Mandai.

BG Tan appeared to have been won over.

“It’s a very pristine, a very unique piece of land. So I totally understand why people say, you should preserve this,” he said.

BG Tan added he is open to preserving certain stretches of land and weaving these planning considerations into future urban development.

“The reality is that we are land scarce. So I think we are looking at how to develop these stretches of land in a way that makes sense. But development can come in many different ways,” he said.