You Can Visit The Old Bukit Timah Railway Station For Free, Has Heritage Gallery & Vintage Cafe

Bukit Timah Railway Station

Mention “train station”, and most of us would think of the MRT stations around Singapore. But once upon a time, a railway track once stretched across parts of the country as part of Malaysia’s KTM railway line, stopping at stations such as Bukit Timah Railway Station.

The station reopened to the public in 2022 following an extensive restoration. There’s now a heritage gallery, restored original architecture, and a chill cafe with vintage vibes for your next cafe-hopping adventure.

What is the history of Bukit Timah Railway Station?

The Bukit Timah Railway Station assumed operations in 1932, inspiring the name of the cafe that currently resides there. The station’s design included an open train platform, a stationmaster’s headquarters, and a signals office. As it was located near the old Singapore Turf Club, it was also used as an unloading point for racehorses.

The railway station was later sold to Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) in the 1900s. Subsequently, the station was closed in July 2011 when KTM ceased operations.

In 2022, Bukit Timah Railway Station was restored and reopened to the public. Many of its original architecture have been preserved, including the tracks and platform. Some parts of the building have been repurposed into a heritage gallery where visitors can learn about the station’s history.

What can you find at the heritage gallery?

Bukit Timah Railway Station before restoration.
Image credit: @alifeofattraction via Instagram

Some of us who have hiked along the Rail Corridor have probably snapped photos of the building along the way – but not many are aware of its historical significance.

Head on down and relive the golden age of rail travel with your own eyes, as the building itself has been repurposed as a heritage gallery. Here, you can learn more about the history of the Rail Corridor and Bukit Timah Railway Station, which was built in 1932 and operated up until the early 90s.

The signage outside the railway station before (left) and after (right) restoration.
Image adapted from: @jimtan1128 & @beckham_cycling via Instagram

Some original architectural elements of the railway station, such as the track switching levers and ticketing booth, have also been refurbished back to their original glory. 

What facilities are available at the Bukit Timah Railway Station?

Image credit: @beckham_cycling via Instagram

You can also bring your parents and grandparents to visit for them to relive their memories of yesteryears. The Bukit Timah Railway Station has been outfitted with more accessible facilities such as seamlessly integrated access ramps, rebuilt access roads and paths, and even features in the restrooms for those with special needs.

With the site being so close to Clementi Forest, the wildlife in the area aren’t left out of the equation either – sensitive lighting design has been utilised to ensure that suitable conditions are maintained for nocturnal animals. 

What food & drinks are there at 1932 Story Cafe?

Image credit: Eatbook

For the uninitiated, the 1932 Story Cafe used to be the old Railway Staff Quarters. There are indoor and outdoor seating, decorated with old-school furniture that make the cafe a great photo spot. Think smooth marble tabletops, wooden chairs with intricate carvings, and even a vintage HiFi sound system.

Image credit: Eatbook

Food-wise, there are Truffle fries ($9), Popcorn Chicken ($10.50), and pizzas (from $18.90) for sharing. Pasta lovers can try the Charred Seafood Curry Pasta ($14.90), but there’s always the Malay Rendang Beef Pie ($10.90) if you’re craving for local cuisine. Then, quench your thirst with a cup of Matcha Latte ($5.50) or Rose Latte ($6).

Check out Bukit Timah Railway Station

Architectural gems like Bukit Timah Railway Station are the last surviving remnants of our country’s rich history. Lucky for us, many of these are being conserved so that generations of Singaporeans can enjoy them for decades to come – no matter what form they take. 

More for history buffs: 

Cover image adapted from: Eatbook, @beckham_cycling via Instagram
Article originally published on 1st July 2022. Last updated by Joycelyn Yeow on 30th April 2024.


Dewi Nurjuwita

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