For those looking to clock their daily step count while spending time amidst nature, here’s a green spot to check out. After a nearly two-refurbishment, the 4km-long Central portion of the Rail Corridor is now accessible by the public again.
It runs between the two iconic conserved truss bridges, Bukit Timah Truss Bridge (near KAP Mall) and Upper Bukit Timah Truss Bridge (beside Rail Mall), and was closed for renovation works in July 2019. The bridges were opened in 1932 as part of the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway line.
According to The Straits Times, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee took a walk along the trail on Monday morning (March 22) with members of the Friends of Rail Corridor community group, which was formed in 2017.
According to NParks’ website, it has been enhanced along three themes, Heritage & Culture, Biodiversity & Greenery, and Recreation, as well as include improvements to user accessibility, sensitive refurbishment of heritage truss bridges, and restoration of a belt of native forest to strengthen the biodiversity and greenery of the Rail Corridor.
These include enhancements that complement the existing flora and fauna, including a Kampung Garden with forest fruit trees and colourful shrubs, and a Rainforest portion, which has also been enhanced with different vegetation.
In a joint statement, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the National Parks Board also said that a new underpass for pedestrians was built at Hindhede Drive as part of the improvements (Source: The Straits Times).
The 3.6m-wide underpass, which lies under an old rail bridge, was built parallel to Hindhede Drive so that pedestrians accessing Bukit Timah Nature Reserve would not have to walk along the road, which has no pavements.
The entire Rail Corridor spans 24km, starting from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and ending at Woodlands Train Checkpoint. It connects park connectors and park trails and will bring you through a variety of parks, park connectors, nature areas, places of interest, and urban spaces.
However, works are still underway, but you can expect to hike an interrupted trail from Kranji MRT station to Spooner Road by the end of 2021.