Rail Corridor (Central) reopens with new features

The enhancement works at the 4km stretch – which runs between Hillview and the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station – is now more inclusive and accessible for visitors. 

A stretch of the Rail Corridor (Central) has been reopened, with new features such as additional access points and restored landmark bridges.

The enhancement works at the 4km stretch – which runs between Hillview and the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station – make the area more inclusive and accessible for visitors, revealed the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the National Parks Board (NParks) in a joint release on Monday (22 March).

Enhancement works along the stretch started in 2019.

With the enhancements, the Rail Corridor now have eight new or improved access points, such as a flight of stairs near the Upper Bukit Timah truss bridge as well as the Singapore Quarry Bridge.

“They were sensitively built to simulate timber sleepers and set into the landscape to complement the character of the Rail Corridor,” said URA and NParks.

The trails at the Rail Corridor have also been strengthened with new materials and finishes.

The trail next to natural areas, for instance, features a grass and gravel finish, while the section near urban areas is finished with an earth-coloured porous material.

Following public feedback, a new pedestrian underpass was built along Hindhede Drive “so that visitors to the nature reserve now have a dedicated footpath and hence, a greater peace of mind”.

Several heritage landmarks at the Rail Corridor, which include the two conserved truss bridges, the Singapore Quarry Bridge, the steel girder bridge at Hindhede, were also restored and refurbished.

“To improve the inclusiveness of the bridges—popular spots for photoshoots—safety features such as railings and improved flooring were also added,” said the release.

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With the Rail Corridor being close to several green nature getaways such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Bukit Batok Nature Park and Dairy Farm Nature Park, there is “wide consensus that the Rail Corridor can potentially become an ecological corridor that connects greenery and biodiversity along its route, and Rail Corridor (Central) a gateway into the surrounding green spaces and a green artery that connects these spaces”.

As such, URA retained and enhanced a naturalised stream when it carried enhancement works at the area.

Over 1,500 native trees and shrubs were also planted along Rail Corridor to restore a belt of native forest within the area, providing an “important passage, habitat and source of food for Singapore’s native fauna”.

Night lighting was not installed to enable nocturnal animals to use the trails at night. Instead, reflector poles were strategically placed along the trail, which also doubles as distance markers.

URA and NParks noted that “parts of the trail along Rail Corridor (South) – from the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station to Spooner Road – are currently undergoing improvement works following PUB’s laying of the Murnane Pipeline under the Rail Corridor, and are scheduled to reopen by the end of this month”.

“The public will then be able to access a continuous trail from Rail Mall to Spooner Road.”

It added that improvement works along Rail Corridor (North) will commence later in the year and is slated to be completed by 2022.

“Works for the 9 Mile Platform rest stop next to the Upper Bukit Timah truss bridge, as well as the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station, will also be completed in 2022,” said URA and NParks.

Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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