Next stop in journey to enhance the Rail Corridor - New recreational spaces for the community to come
31 Aug 2019
-Proposal for Bukit Timah Railway Station has been refined, enhancement works to begin for community node
-Friends of Rail Corridor will lead community to activate spaces along reopened southern stretches
-New linear park connecting to Rail Corridor will provide more recreational options
The National Parks Board (NParks) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced today that enhancement works for the former Bukit Timah Railway Station and its surroundings as a community node will begin early next year. At a community event at the station, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong also shared that the Friends of Rail Corridor will be leading the community in activating the reopened stretches of the Rail Corridor along its southern half, and announced plans for a new linear park that is partly elevated above the Bukit Timah Canal – the Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor. The new linear park will add to and complement Singapore’s network of recreational connections, which includes the Rail Corridor, Round Island Route and Coast-to-Coast Trail, and altogether, the connections will provide the public with more recreational options, and more opportunities to explore the outdoors and connect with nature in our City in a Garden.
Enhancements to commence for Bukit Timah Railway Station
Over the last two years, works to enhance Rail Corridor (Central), the 4 km stretch of the Rail Corridor between the Hillview area and the conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station, have been ongoing and guided by three key themes: Heritage and Culture, Biodiversity and Greenery, and Recreation. The works include improvements to trails, restoration works for the truss bridges, construction of a new pedestrian underpass at Hindhede, and habitat enhancements. In early 2020, enhancement of the former railway station and its surroundings as a community node will begin.
The conserved Bukit Timah Railway Station is a distinctive landmark of Rail Corridor (Central) and the community node will feature a strong sense of history, distinctive landscaping and ample public spaces. Works to restore the Railway Station building and the former Railway Station Staff Quarters will be carried out sensitively and in line with conservation guidelines. The buildings will showcase their original railway features, while being repurposed for the public’s use and enjoyment. At the same time, the 8 Mile Platform will be constructed near the Rail Mall to provide amenities such as a shelter and toilet. It will act as a rest stop and an access point to the Rail Corridor.
At the community event today, Minister Lawrence Wong, together with Advisers Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Ms Sim Ann, Mr Christopher de Souza and Mr Liang Eng Hwa, planted native Mangifera caesia trees to mark the start of enhancement works for the community node.
Moving forward, agencies will continue to ensure that works planned are done sensitively and in line with the community's vision for the Rail Corridor as a seamless and connected green corridor that is rich in heritage. Infrastructural enhancement works for Rail Corridor (Central), including the Bukit Timah Railway Station community node and 8 Mile Platform, are on track to be completed in phases by 2021.
Friends of Rail Corridor to lead communities in activating reopened stretches
Several stretches of the southern half of the Rail Corridor have been reopened following the laying of the Murnane Pipeline. Totalling around 4.2 km, the reopened stretches now feature a more inclusive and user-friendly track. The porous trail material allows for water drainage and gives greater access to families with strollers, wheelchair-users and the elderly while maintaining the natural look and feel of the Rail Corridor.
The Friends of Rail Corridor, a part of NParks’ Friends of the Parks initiative, has led the way forward in activating spaces along Rail Corridor (Central) and in habitat enhancement and stream restoration efforts since its formation in 2017. With the reopening of the southern stretches, they will engage the community on activating and enhancing these spaces as well, such as through events, community involvement and habitat enhancement works. The remaining stretches will be progressively reopened by 2020, and bring more opportunities for community activities.
Members of the public who are interested in contributing towards the enhancement of the Rail Corridor can sign up online at https://www.nparks.gov.sg/railcorridor/be-our-friend.
New linear park along Bukit Timah Canal by NParks
To provide even more recreational options for visitors, NParks will be developing the Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor. The Bukit Timah-Rochor Green Corridor is envisioned as a journey through a riverine forest and will include a linear sky park elevated above the canal. It will connect to the Rail Corridor near the Bukit Timah Railway Station community node. Visitors, including users of the Coast-to-Coast Trail, can look forward to a unique walking and cycling experience set amidst lush greenery. The first phase of the project comprises 1.4 km and stretches from the Rail Corridor to Elm Avenue. Construction is expected to start in 2021, dovetailing with PUB’s canal improvement works. In the future, the corridor may be extended to Kallang Riverside Park, totalling 11 km.
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