Nested in a timeless zone of yesteryears, amidst the upscale landed and private properties of Bukit Timah, stood a quaint old railway station that had defied the many changes happening all around it. I first visited the station back in 2009 and it was love at first sight.
To the unwary, the surest hint of the station's innocuous location was when an infrequent train rumbled by a blackish Truss Bridge above the final stretch of Bukit Timah Road on one side, and the start of Dunearn Road on the other.
Slopes on either side of the Truss Bridge lead to the railway station on elevated ground about 250m away from Bukit Timah Road. The tranquility of the place with an old world charm was only broken a few times per day with the sounds of passing trains and the flurry of activities following trains' crossovers.
On July 1st, 2011 the whole KTM land reverted to Singapore following a historic land swop deal between the governments of Singapore and Malaysia. BTRS is gazetted as a conserved building and is now fenced up and undergoing conservation works. Will this endearing local landmark lose its character after its makeover? Only time will tell, for now.
In Singapore, many buildings are conserved only in name and facade. The "innards" and historical significance normally take a back seat. I shuddered when I peeked through the fencing around BTRS and saw only 6 levers in the signalling room! The rest, I'm told, were returned to Malaysia.
Info: The Bukit Timah Railway Station was opened in 1915 as part of the Singapore-Kranji Railway, a.k.a the Singapore Government Railway.[Back to "Scenics / Cityscapes"]