Railway Mania

August 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers joined many fellow Singaporeans in the railway track craze last month before the government started dismantling work of the track. The first time was the followng afternoon after our train ride to Segamat and the second time was in mid July.

I didn’t know that the Bukit Timah Railway Station was so accessible via
public transport…The previous day when our train passed by, the control
room at the left had the gate fully opened…but it was closed now…

Maybe it was because no train was scheduled to depart or arrive here at the
time of our visit…

Could still poke and zoom the camera for a record shot of these…But would
be fun to pose beside and pretend to be controlling…hahah

Close up…

The emblem of the Government of Malaysia at the waiting area

Saw this Orange-cheeked Waxbill (Estrilda melpoda) on a small tree just
next to the station. Native from the western and central tropical Africa,
these small birds live in small flocks, except in the mating season, and can
be found in grassland areas close to water. This must be an escapee pet bird…

The loo…Dun think I wanna open the door to check it out… :p

One of the things I would really like to witness was the exchanging of this
token, which I thought really looked like a leather handbag…hahah…While
we were on our train, I thought they were going to exchange it when our
train stopped at this station. But didn’t see it happen even when I tried to 
follow the train staff with coloured flags to see where he was heading…
Think I missed the action somehow… 

Made in England!

Dismantling of the track was to start soon as the agreement was to return
them to Malaysia by the end of the year 


Wonder how does these work? 

Split into two…

Dunu what’s this used for…

Hand in hand 

It was a rather short visit cos we were still quite tired from the late train ride and the weather was so humid. However, we returned two weeks later to explore the 3 km track from the Railway Mall to Bukit Timah Station.

Another crowded day at the track…


The track seemed to be a sole-eating monster…cos there were so many
soles left behind by visitors…Maybe they should have picked them up
and disposed them in the bin…or wore some sturdier shoes… 

So many itchy fingers leaving their unsightly marks around!

According to Wiki, “Horsehay works has a history of more than 230 years
on the same site. Formed in 1755 by Abraham Darby II it contributed to the
birth of the industrial revolution through large scale production of iron.
Later it produced pre-fabricated bridges for export all over the world. It was
a major employer in the area until the mid 1980s when it closed under the
ownership of Adamson Alliance.” Interesting…


Numbers were found at the side of the track next to the iron hooks…
Did anyone notice these?

Daddy reading a paper sign by LTA…

A lot of these signs had faded and turned rusty…charming in its own way

Various nature and interest groups have proposed to the government to turn the 26km railway track into a “Green Corridor” where people can walk, jog and cycle along the vast patch of greenery, which fortunately, is under serious study by the government. Too bad the tracks would not be preserved due to the agreement between the two countries.

Tall trees were abundant…There were some fruiting durian trees which
attracted many curious eyes…

Wild yam leaves…Itchyfingers have seen much larger ones that can cover 
our whole body…

One of the fruit trees that I can recognise easily must be this. Tisu Boy once
took a nice photo of a tailorbird perching near the flowers…So which fruit
tree was this? 

Starfruits! There were plenty of them on the two trees, but most were unripe
and small…The bigger ones were far deeper to reach…

Beside fruit trees and flowers, there were plenty of butterflies. We also saw some doves. Then we saw a huge crowd of people in front of us…What happened?

Monkeys! What?! With plastic bag of food?!? Were these people feeding the
wild monkeys? The children actually went a bit too close to take photos,
which may not be a good idea as these are afterall, wild animals that may
bite or scratch if they feel threatened…

I was not feeling very pleased seeing people feeding the monkeys and so was ready to tell them not to do so as I went up…But before I could open my mouth, I heard someone telling the others that the monkeys came down to snatch the food from them. Tisu Boy always said that sometimes I like to jump into conclusion, which, in this case, I did jump into the conclusion that these people must have fed the monkeys so that they could take closer photos of them. Looking at the monkeys now, they were clearly just rummaging through the broken plastic bag for food other than the banana peels and wrappers…If they were fed, there should not be any bags…

The not-too-happy Long-tailed Macaque mummy with her baby, still suckling…

With nothing interesting to eat, the monkeys soon dispersed and the bag was picked up by the owner…

The broken plastic bag was picked up. I walked next to the guy and confirmed
that the bag was indeed snatched away from him by the monkeys…Luckily, 
I didn’t tell anyone off if not so embarrassing…:p

Almost half way through the trek. There were people up the bridge…How
did they get up?

It seemed like they got up by the side, which was a bit too steep for my liking…

Someone placed these Hindu gods photos here…

Tisu Boy climbed up to take a look while the scary cat Tisu Girl stayed behind….This was what he saw…

Tisu Girl staying on ground taking photo of a couple on the disused bridge…

Sometimes when a place attracts too many people, you dunu if it is a good 
thing…cos many times, you attract the wrong people…like people who
vandalised and left such ugly, no standard graffiti around… 

Or people who left brainless notice on the track…Do they really think they
would get back their camera? We saw two of these same notice on different
parts of the track…

铁路受伤了..With so many people trekking through, no wonder the track was hurt…

Remember to follow the speed limit…

Old traffic light! So cute… 😀

1868…auspicious number for chinese…

We have seen photo of people “planking” on the track…er, but do they realise
that the loos on the train have holes leading to the track? Which means
whatever you “release” into the loo would be deposited on the track…Eeee…
anyhow plank and you might kiss some sh*t accidentally…hahaha…

The station was already fenced up, so I think for folks who came after June,
they were unable to go close…Those metal control sticks (dunu what you
call them) we saw earlier in the room at the left were all removed, saved
for just a few pieces left for people to take photos… 

We reached the Bukit Timah Station some two hours or so later…really slow strolling and taking photos…hahah…There were already so many people there…And as I said, you really don’t know if you are attracting the correct people there….

More vandalism…It said “1st July 2011. Ends”

We took a short late brunch break before taking the bus back to Railmall to collect the car. From there, we went to the track at Tanglin Halt.

This was the second time I walked this stretch of the rail. The first time was
some years back when I was still staying in the vicinity. Me and my friend
walked from here to Ghim Moh side for birdwatching. Still remembered
seeing the cargo trains passed by a couple of times and the driver smiled
and waved to us. We had only about a meter or so of space to stand to
keep out from the passing train

This stretch of the track was quieter with lesser people…It could be because
it was getting hot… 

So it was good to do some shooting with lesser interruption. These crews
were shooting an unknown actress across the opposite HDB flat

There were many small paths opened up by people who lived or worked 
nearby to take short cuts to the main road or other destinations. This one
led to an open grassland with some old black and white houses

Singapore or Straits Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum)

A little space was set up by some residents to rest besides the track. They
were asked to vacate by 7 June but obviously no one was moving yet…

A little guard at the entrance…

Workers were already putting up fence to restrict entrance by the end of
July…So efficient…

Such greenery! The fate of the 26km railway track would be decided soon
and hopefully we can retain this patch of greenery instead of building
up more condominiums…

The railway track that treads through Woodland to Tanjong Pagar is soon becoming a thing of the past as dismantling work is under going to meet the deadline of returning the track to Malaysia by end of the year. When that is done, the area will be opened again to the public until the government comes out with a development plan for it. Hopefully, it will be one that will benefit not just human but also the wildlife that can be found there.

Also see related posts:
> Du! Du! Journey on Track
Last Supper
Memories – Tanjong Pagar Railway Station 


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