One of them is the Rail Corridor – a 24km-long route that runs from Kranji all the way to the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. Exploring the whole stretch might be a doozy if this is your first time. But no worries, we’ve done the homework to find the coolest things to check out on this trail.
Fun fact: There used to be a Malaysian KTM train line that cut through the middle of Singapore, from Woodlands Train Checkpoint to the now-defunct Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
The last KTM train in Singapore was removed in 2011 and since then, parts of the railway have been preserved or developed into a nature trail. Enter what we know today as the Rail Corridor, which is split into 2 parts: Rail Corridor North and Rail Corridor South:
Taking up a major part of the whole corridor is Rail Corridor North. The trailhead is located just opposite Kranji MRT station and runs 10km south all the way to Hillview. But that doesn’t mean you’ll need to start exploring from either end. There are more than 30 points of access along this stretch that include Kranji War Memorial, Choa Chu Kang Road, and Hillview MRT.
Image credit: NParks Facebook
If you do find yourself in the North, start your trek of Rail Corridor North at Kranji Node. It’s an easy 250m walk on flat ground and in the shade, thanks to the numerous trees that line the trail – perfect for newbie hikers. But trust us, once you’re done here, you’ll want to trudge on further to explore the rest of the corridor.
Image credit: NParks Facebook
So, you’ve made the decision to continue the hike past Kranji Node. A wise choice, as you’ll be greeted by a 6m-high lookout deck at Hillview Bridge. Step up and you’ll get IG-worthy views of Rail Mall and its surroundings. If you come in the evening or really early in the morning, you’ll even get to catch the sun peeking above the horizon.
The Southern part of the whole trail picks up from Hillview, all the way down to Spooner Road for now. In the future, the trail will continue on towards Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and this section is slated to open in 2026.
When you continue the trail from Hillview Bridge, you’ll come across 2 truss bridges – IG-famous spots that you might have come across on your feed. Its popularity comes as no surprise though, especially with that aesthetic geometric structure and jet-black steel frames that our cameras can’t say no to.
The 1932 Bukit Timah truss bridge was most recently reinforced and re-opened in March 2021. No worries about it losing too much of its historic touch as it looks pretty much the same as it once did in the past. Maybe just cleaner, and with a few added safety rails.
No surprises that the Bukit Timah truss bridge will lead you straight to the Bukit Timah Railway Station. While the station no longer operates, the area was restored and reopened in 2022 as part of the Rail Corridor.
The station building has been converted into a heritage gallery where you can learn about its historical significance while seeking refuge from the heat. Of course, the iconic signage and ticketing booth remain untouched so it’s not too late to take pictures with them.
Image credit: Eatbook
If you’ve been looking to catch a break, this is the perfect spot for one. The former Railway Staff Quarters have been repurposed into a cafe. 1932 Story Cafe will have you feeling like you’ve stepped into the previous century with their antique furniture.
The menu is far more modern though; local and Western fusion fare like classic Hawaiian Pizza (from $18.90) and Malay Rendang Beef Pie ($10.90) are available here.
The railway tracks and bridges are cool and all, but if you’d like to escape the concrete jungles for a bit, head on into the Clementi Forest. The pocket of wilderness is shrouded by tall trees so you won’t be able to spot a single hint of civilisation in sight.
Image credit: Kezia Tan
The best time to head there is said to be at dawn, when a dreamy fog blankets the forest. But having tried and failed at waking up early, my friends and I have also discovered that visiting around 10am is almost equally as scenic. Just be sure to go on a day with clear blue skies and don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes as the route can be pretty slippery.
With a handful of history and nature in store, the Rail Corridor is perhaps the perfect spot for your next local adventure.
Even if you’ve visited before, a revisit might be worth your while. The central 4km section of the trail has also seen recent improvements – with strengthened trails and the addition of more than 1,500 trees.
Getting there: There are more than 30 access points along the trail. Check the Rail Corridor Map for more details on how to enter.
For more hiking spots in Singapore, also read:
Cover image adapted from: Yna Alba via Google Maps, Eatbook
Original article published on 26th Mar 2021. Last updated by Ong Yee Ching on 26th May 2023.
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