The Hidden Railway

Despite being such a built up and developed city, Singapore still has quite a few hidden places which are seldom seen. Some of these places are from recent history and have interesting stories behind them. One of these is a abandoned railway track and tunnel which was forgotten until recently. Due to the continuing lack of travel overseas from the pandemic, local exploration is becoming quite a hobby amongst us.

This is the old Jurong Railway Line which connected Malaysia to the Jurong Industrial areas in Singapore in the 1960’s. Cargo trains continued to run on this line until the 1990’s when it was closed due to diminishing train traffic. With the North-South Highway connecting Singapore and Malaysia, it meant that ferrying cargo by trucks was actually faster and more efficient compared to the slow diesel trains. The railway line was then abandoned and surprisingly despite all the massive development work from the 1990’s until now, the railway line is still there.

The main attraction is this railway tunnel which runs under a major road. It has been refurbished somewhat so that visitors can enjoy it.
Better drainage means that the inside of the tunnel doesn’t flood after every rain storm.
A group of hikers posing at the entrance of the tunnel.

Accessing the railway tunnel is relatively simple. There is a bus stop nearby along Clementi Road and a short walk to the tunnel itself. But there are no steps and you do have to walk down a relatively steep slope to get to the tunnel’s entrance.

Besides the tunnel, there’s also the abandoned railway tracks that lead westward towards Jurong. These have been overtaken by the trees and vegetation of the secondary rain forest that grew around it.

The other end of the railway tunnel which is partially covered by overgrown trees and the forest. It’s hard to believe that just above the tunnel is a 8 lane major roadway.
A post apocalyptic scene of train tracks disappearing into the jungle.
This reminds me of that temple in Cambodia that was overgrown by huge tree roots. It’s a wonder that it takes less than 3 decades for the forest to reclaim man made structures.
Somehow this tree root grew around and made a small tunnel over the metal track.

If you follow the railway tracks westward for around 1 km, you will find yourself at a iron railway bridge. Unfortunately, this bridge is now closed off from public access due to it’s unstable structure. It would be nice if it could be repaired and preserved.

The iron railway bridge which spans the Ulu Pandan River or canal. It’s in a state of disrepair and has been blocked off from public access .
With the rusted structure and rotting timber, there’s a real risk of falling into the water below.

The railway tracks end at the bridge, as on the other side is Clementi housing estate. If you continue eastwards from the tunnel entrance, the railway tracks actually join up with the main railway line that runs north to south and is now named the Green Corridor. The old railway tracks have been removed and it’s now a nature trail. Check out my old post of the Green Corridor when railway tracks used to run through it.

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