Singaporeans looking to go off the beaten path will be interested to know about the existence of “The Lost Railway to Jurong”, which is literally off the beaten path.
As one of the more unique outdoor places of interest in Singapore that is slightly more difficult to get to, but still in existence and accessible if one knows where to look, it has periodically been labelled as “forgotten”.
Here’s how to find the defunct railway line in the west of Singapore.
“The Lost Railway to Jurong” refers to the 1km of the railway tracks that were removed sometime in the mid-1990s.
This stretch of missing tracks originates from Bukit Timah railway station and heads west.
The track imprints are now mostly overgrown with vegetation as nature has reclaimed what has always been hers.
But remnants of the tracks remain and these vestiges of the past have drawn curious locals who want some place to go other than shopping malls and cafes.
Opened in 1965, the Jurong Railway ran for 19km from Bukit Timah railway station to Shipyard Road, near present day Jurong Island.
The main line stretches 14km, while three other branch lines extended the railway line to other parts of Jurong.
One such individual went on a hike recently and took photos of the state of the track now.
A hike along the old track will not be complete without paying a visit to the abandoned tunnel under Clementi Road.
The railway tunnel is located behind the bus stop opposite Maju Camp and down the slope.
This railway tunnel that runs below Clementi Road, as well as another super long tunnel under the Teban Flyover, were two of three tunnels built as part of an industrial railway line in the early 1960s.
Left to waste for about 18 years
The fortunes of the freight train tracks declined rapidly over the decades.
The Jurong Line was completed in 1965.
But it was retired in the late 1980s after Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) was built.
The service stopped running in 1992, and the Jurong Railway Station was demolished in 1993.
Bukit Timah railway station, which is currently being conserved, can be considered the starting point of the west-bound Jurong Line.
Railway line from Malaysia
Bukit Timah railway station is part of the main railway line that used to run from Woodlands to Tanjong Pagar.
That main railway line, known as the North-South Line, started from Malaysia and cut through the heart of Singapore.
This railway line between Woodlands and Tanjong Pagar closed in July 2011.
Trains were the only way to move massive amounts of goods and raw materials to the industrial areas in the past.
The Jurong Line carried cargo from Malaysia to the Jurong industrial area and they ended up at one of the ports in Jurong where the line ended.
The line would pass by warehouses, refineries and plants to reach the western coast.
Remnants of railway in the west
Some notable sights along the old Jurong Line are the short cast iron bridge over Sunset Way.
An iron bridge almost 10m tall extends over Sungei Ulu Pandan and connects the Jurong Line westward towards Teban Garden.
The iron tracks have rusted and the wooden sleepers have become rotten, but maintenance works appears to have been carried out for safety reasons.
Top photos via Ho Ee Kid