Monday, December 20, 2010

Picture Blog #17 : Tanjung Pagar Railway Station

Tanjung Pagar Railway Station [Pic]

Yesterday, I visited Malaysia without leaving Singapore. Sort of.

Most local residents would know the historical Tanjung Pagar Railway station (see location map). It is located at Keppel Road just next to the busy Singapore Port.

The station is in Singapore but operated by KTM (Keratapi Tanah Melayu Berhad / Malayan Railway Limited), the main railway operator in Malaysia (See KTM Railway Map).

It is sitting on prime land at the edge of Singapore CBD area and not too far away from Sentosa, a popular tourist destination in Singapore. Even though it is located deep in Singaporean territory, the land occupied by the railway station and the tracks in Singapore technically belongs to Malaysia. (the land is held by KTM on a 999-year lease)

Tanjung Pagar Railway station has its history date back to 1932. In the days when train was a major mode of transport, it was one of the main train terminals within the Malayan railway network. That was so even after Singapore gained her independence in 1965

Today, travelers have many other choices and traveling into Malaysia by train is no longer preferred. However, KTM still operates services from Kuala Lumpur (capital of Malaysia) and other parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

24 May 2010 marked a major milestone in the history of the station when the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore. They resolved a long-standing dispute relating to the relocation of Tanjung Pagar station. After the meeting, the two governments announced a land swop deal. With that, Tanjung Pagar station will cease operation by July 2011.

The future development of the area around the station is unknown. However, the railway station building is likely to be conserved by the National Heritage Board of Singapore. One thing I am sure: in a few months' time, Tanjung Pagar Railway station will no longer be the train station we used to know. I was there to capture some of its last moments before it fades into history.

Railway station is operated by
Malaysia-owned KTM

KTM was previously known as FMSR
(Federated Malay States Railways)
White marble relief representing 'Agriculture'
with letter F from 'FMSR' above it.
White marble relief representing 'Commerce'
with letter M from 'FMSR' above it.
White marble relief representing 'Transport'
with letter S from 'FMSR' above it.
White marble relief representing 'Industry'
with letter R from 'the 'FMSR' above it.
Driveway at the main entrance. [Pic]
Motifs on arches at the main entrance. [Pic]
The clock at the side of building
is no longer telling time.
Many parts of the building
are not well maintained.
One of the wall murals in the main hall
depicting 'rubber tapping'.
The ticket counter looks very 'yesteryear'. [Pic]
Most scheduling boards
would have gone electronic by now.
Departure gate for train departing at 1 pm. [Pic]
The luxury line operated by Eastern & Oriental Express
stops at Tanjung Pagar Station.
Malaysian food can be found at the station. [Pic]
These Malaysian flags are reminders that
you are on Malaysian soil.
Simple signage to Arrival Platform. [Pic]
The Arrival Platform. [Pic]
The KTM trains will be stopping at Tanjung Pagar Railway
station for another few more months.
The station is expected to shut its
gate for the last time by July 2011.
After the closure of the station, these tracks
will only carry traces of the past.

"History never looks like history when you are living through it."  ~John W. Gardner ~

KTM relocation under way (CNA 3 Mar 2011) (video)
Railway stations' heritage conserved (CNA 8 Apr 11)

More photos by Vanilla at Vanillafoto.

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jingxuan said...

Hi, it is great to read your article about Tanjung Pagar railway station!
Actually I'm from J.B. but work in Taipei, your writing impressed me and makes me feel familiar. Please feel free to visit my blog:
(P.S. I am sorry for my poor english ^^|||)

Vanilla said...

Hi, jingxuan, tks for dropping by. The pictures in your blog are very well taken. ~ Vanilla