Abandoned Jurong Railway Line

Abandoned Jurong Railway Line
Category

Description

Explore the abandoned Jurong railway line in this adventure hike that takes you through a piece of Singapore history

Distance

8.5 km

Starting Point

Jurong East MRT

Difficulty

6/10

Ending Point

King Albert Park MRT

During the early 1960s, Jurong was proposed to be the location of a mega industrial estate as well as Singapore’s second port (after Tanjong Pagar’s Port of Singapore). During then, Jurong was still a relatively underdeveloped region with little infrastructure in place. Roads were scarce and poorly paved.

To speed up the development of commercial and infrastructure projects in Jurong, the Jurong Railway Line was proposed. A joint investment of S$5.5 million was made by JTC Corporation and KTM (the national railroad company in Malaysia) and construction of the railway began in 1963.

Jurong Railway Track Bridge | Image credits: Chew Wei Chun

Opened in 1965, the 19km long Jurong Railway ran from Bukit Timah Railway Station to Shipyard Road near present day Jurong Island. The main line stretches 14km long while three other branch line extended the railway line to other parts of Jurong.

Used primarily to transport goods between Malaysia and Jurong (via Bukit Timah Railway Station as an interchange), the railway was underutilized since its inception. A 1975 article by the New Nation revealed that only 128,00 tons of goods were ferried through the railway in 1974, well below the two to three million tons that the railway company had expected.

Jurong Railway Tracks | Image credits: Chew Wei Chun

With the development of Jurong in the 1980s, trucks became a more convenient and efficient way of transporting goods; this made the Jurong railway redundant. In 1992, transportation services along the Jurong railway line discontinued, followed by the demolishment of the Jurong Railway Station a year later.

Over the years, authorities have removed a majority of the railway tracks and reclaimed the land for commercial and residential purposes. With that said, remnants of the railway line can still be found throughout the railway line.

Old Bukit Timah Railway Station | Image credits: Ng Wei Ker

The Hike

From Jurong East MRT, hike along Jurong Town Hall Road towards Teban Flyover. Turn left and follow the hiking route towards Jurong Circular Bridge. As of June 2019, a section of the route is under construction; walk along the unpaved path.

Cross the railway bridge and enter Ulu Pandan Park Connector. Walk along the canal till you reach Commonwealth Avenue highway. A section of the railway track can be found up the slope.

From there, continue along the canal to the underside of Clementi Avenue 6 highway. A longer, more complete section of the railway track can be found.

Continue along the park connector and cross the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the canal. Have a quick rest stop at Sunset Way.

Follow the hiking route and make your way to ‘Opp Maju Camp’ bus stop. The famous railway tunnel is located behind the bus stop, down the slope.

Hike along Clementi Road and make your way to Old Bukit Timah Railway Station to mark the end of this hike!

Note:

  • This trek covers half of the railway line from Jurong Town Hall Road to Old Bukit Timah Railway Station (start of Jurong Railway Line). This route is easy to navigate as it is mostly paved path. The second section of the railway line from Jurong Town Hall Road to Shipyard Road (end of Jurong Railway Line) is difficult to traverse due to rough, unpaved terrains as well as the fact that commercial properties are built on the land of the former railway line, making it difficult to navigate to the end.
  • Otters are known to roam along the canal so do keep a lookout for them.
  • The railway bridge is closed and not accessible to the public.

Route

Click on the colored blocks to locate the railway tracks and tunnel.

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