Rail Corridor (North) opens to public, offering over 21 km of North-South connectivity and greater accessibility with more than 30 access paths
10 Feb 2023
- Public can now enjoy seamless connectivity on the Rail Corridor from Kranji MRT station to Spooner Road
- Enhanced trail and new amenities bring nature, heritage and recreation closer to the public
- Community engagement key in revitalising the Rail Corridor
The National Parks Board (NParks) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) opened Rail Corridor (North) today, which marks more than 21 km of continuous connectivity for visitors along the Rail Corridor, stretching from Kranji MRT station in the north to Spooner Road in the south. The public can also explore the Rail Corridor more easily, with over 30 access paths located along the over 21 km stretch, connecting neighbouring residents and communities. Accessibility will be further enhanced with more than 10 access paths that will be completed progressively from 1Q 2023.
Key highlights of the newly completed Rail Corridor (North) include close to 6 km of trail enhancements, the new Kranji node with a nature trail connected to an events field, and a new bridge over Hillview Road that leads to a lookout deck. These enhancements will offer the public even more recreational options set amidst nature, and contribute towards NParks’ efforts to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, a key pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. The Rail Corridor is part of overall plans to curate a 360 km island-wide network of recreational routes, which will contribute towards enabling every household to live within a 10-minute walk of a park by 2030.
To mark the opening of Rail Corridor (North), Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration Desmond Lee unveiled a distance marker at the Kranji node along Rail Corridor (North), and planted a Gutta Percha (Palaquium gutta) tree near the new Hillview Bridge with Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.
Rail Corridor now more connected and accessible to public
The Rail Corridor serves as an important community space that potentially connects around
1 million residents living within a 1 km radius and visitors from all walks of life. Twelve new access paths have been added along Rail Corridor (North) to connect neighbouring communities and green spaces such as the newly completed Kranji-Mandai Park Connector. The northern stretch of the Rail Corridor was earlier realigned to run along Woodlands Road to connect to Kranji MRT station and incorporated into the Rail Corridor Concept Master Plan, which was publicly exhibited in 2015. The realignment of the Rail Corridor to Kranji MRT station enables better public accessibility and allows parts of the original railway land to be amalgamated with adjacent State land to facilitate future development.
The Kranji node now becomes the northern gateway into the Rail Corridor. Visitors can begin their Rail Corridor journey from the Kranji node, which includes a new access path across Kranji MRT station, and enjoy over 21 km of continuous connectivity to Spooner Road. Native trees and shrubs have been added along Rail Corridor (North) to enhance the rustic and natural charm of the Rail Corridor, and a new events field has been created opposite Kranji MRT station for community events.
Between Hillview MRT station and Upper Bukit Timah truss bridge, 600 m of trail enhancements was completed, offering greater accessibility for visitors commuting via public transport or along the Rail Corridor. Ramps have also been installed to provide barrier-free access for visitors from Hillview MRT station, as well as between Hillview Avenue and Upper Bukit Timah Road.
Hillview Bridge, which was dismantled in 2011, has also been sensitively replaced, re-establishing pedestrian connectivity across Hillview Road and along the Rail Corridor. Railway tracks were embedded into the flooring of the bridge to reflect the function of the original bridge as a railway crossing.
New access paths from Hillview Road and Hume Avenue have been introduced into the Rail Corridor, which lead to an approximately 6 m-high lookout deck with scenic views of Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. A pedestrian overhead bridge has also been extended, providing residents using the Rail Corridor with a direct connection to the amenities at Rail Mall.
A major ecological corridor for native biodiversity
The arterial Rail Corridor abuts Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and several nature parks within the Central Nature Park Network such as Dairy Farm Nature Park and Rifle Range Nature Park. More than 52,000 trees and shrubs have been planted along Rail Corridor to enhance ecological connectivity between natural habitats. Critically endangered and near-threatened species of fauna, such as the Straw-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica) and Malayan Colugo (Galeopterus variegatus), have been sighted at the Rail Corridor.
Community stewardship key in enhancing Rail Corridor
Since 2011, NParks and URA have continually engaged the community on plans and enhancement works for the Rail Corridor. In the early days of planning, the Rail Corridor Partnership was formed by URA to conceptualise the Rail Corridor. Subsequently, it was renamed in 2017 as the Friends of Rail Corridor (FRC), which includes individuals from heritage and nature groups, students, residents and other stakeholders, and NParks works closely with them on the enhancement of the Rail Corridor.
Volunteers, which include FRC and Friends of Bukit Timah Forest, students from various schools, residents living in the vicinity, youth and representatives from both corporate and non-governmental organisations, have also contributed to various enhancement efforts such as planting of native trees and invasive species removal along the Rail Corridor. These efforts will be further complemented by the Nature Society (Singapore), who will be undertaking a rewilding project in Rail Corridor (North) in partnership with NParks.
Collectively, these community greening efforts will contribute to NParks’ OneMillionTrees movement, which aims to plant one million more trees across Singapore by 2030 and further extend nature into the urban landscape.
Continued rejuvenation of Rail Corridor
Singaporeans can look forward to further enhancements of the Rail Corridor and greater opportunities to shape the Rail Corridor into an inclusive community space. Some of these enhancements include more amenities such as shelters and toilets by mid-2023, new community nodes such as the Buona Vista node which will be completed by end-2023, as well as the reopening of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station after 2026. These enhancements will offer a variety of recreational options and spaces for respite, as we continue to partner Singaporeans in shaping these spaces and rejuvenate the Rail Corridor as a community space for all to enjoy within our City in Nature.
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