Time for some catching up with the places I visited during my summer trip to Singapore! The first thing on my itinerary was to visit Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. I’d driven past it a number of times but never thought much of it other than that it was an old abandoned railway station.
While looking up Annie Leibovitz’s recent exhibition Women: New Portraits in Hong Kong, I realized it toured Singapore before coming to Hong Kong. It exhibited at an interesting choice of location – Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. I had absolutely no idea that the railway station was even in use at all!
Turns out that the station has been open to visitors on Singapore’s public holidays since February last year, so I decided to check it out on Hari Raya Puasa (July 6th) just a few days after I landed in Singapore.
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was first opened in 1932 when Singapore was under British colonial rule, and the trains traveled between Singapore and Malaysia up till operations ceased in 2011. I find it very interesting to see a heritage building centered right in the middle of Singapore’s landscape of shiny buildings!
The four sculptures on the facade of the building represent Industry, Agriculture, Commerce and Transport, the four pillars of Singapore’s economy then. The letters FMSR stands for Federated Malay States Railway. (It’s now renamed Tanjong Pagar Railway Station as it’s situated in Tanjong Pagar, which is part of the Central Business District in Singapore.)
I just love the big, high arches, and the flowery pattern design within each arch! There is no lighting installed at the entrance, just lots of natural sunlight streaming in through the arches.
I was surprised to see these murals on the walls of the ticketing hall, I didn’t expect to see artworks inside! The murals depict various aspects of Singapore’s industry, agriculture, commerce and transport, represented again in a different format from the sculptures outside.
On to the actual railway tracks! I don’t think many people would have the chance to walk on a railway track (the wooden bits have disintegrated at points), so this is cool.
The railway tracks don’t go far, with the rest of the space acting as a mini park of sorts.
The bright blue sign reads:
All these are important heritage artefacts, we appreciate if you refrain from touching. Thank you for your understanding.
Best shoes shot ever.
I was a little sad to see that the clock doesn’t actually work. However, the railway station will be undergoing renovations after December this year till 2025. I hope the clock will be back working again when the station is reopened!
It’s disappointing to see this railway station going into temporary closure after I’d only just discovered it but it is, after all, Singapore where renovation is always ongoing. It’s good to hear that the original design will still be retained, along with a few new additions of an art gallery, an auditorium, and a MRT station.
There are three more public holidays in Singapore left in the year, including tomorrow’s Hari Raya Haji, to visit Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, open from 9am to 6pm. Take a nice day off to immerse in a bit of Singapore’s history and heritage.
To find out more about Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, check out this article here.