Monday, 12 September 2016

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

I decided to see this Tanjong Pagar Railway Station that i have been keen to see for some years. Nothing spur one to see it than being the last opportunity to see it.

Admin office, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
Admin building of Tanjong Pagar railway station

This place only opened up to the public during public holidays. This year is going to be the last year it's opened to public to see the old girl in her original shape before it's closed off for conversion into Circle Line MRT station. One can imagine that the main hall won't be torn down because it has been gazetted as national monument. But you won't see this face-lift version until 2025. Call me impatient. I just can't wait that long.


Facade, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
There was a vintage car show on the open day. Vintage cars go with heritage building makes sense.
Did i mention that art-deco is one of my fave architectural style.

These 4 marble sculptures are the works of Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli (1888–1963), who had left a lot of his footprints (or fingerprints) scattered around Singapore like those showcased in National Gallery Singapore, or the couple of Foo Dog that guard the main entrance to the Bank of China building.

Agriculture marble sculpture, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore Commerce marble sculpture, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore Transport marble sculpture, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore Industry, marble sculpture, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore

The 4 letters above the sculptures stand for Federated Malay States Railway (FMSR). Because it was a direct train from Singapore to Malaysia, it was sometimes known as Singapore Railway station.

The Tanjong Pagar railway ended its service on 2011. If it never ceased to operating, i would have gone to Johor Bahru (the southern most border town of Malaysia) far more than twice in the last 6.5 years that i've been living in Singapore.

Well, with the rapid growth of MRT, it's replacing the old fashion train. And importantly with the building of the Singapore-Malaysia causeway, you can get to Johor Bahru by first taking the MRT to Marsiling MRT and then a bus (that was how i got there. It may have been changed now. Different MRT and bus service).

I simply find the direct railway more convenient and romantic (sentimental old fool that i am). The memory of my trip from Singapore to KL was like it was 30 years ago (People say that they remember an event like it was yesterday must be young people. For oldies, the memories of yesterday is quite hazy, but memories of many decades past are quite fresh, albeit probably quite distorted. So old folks would say something like "I remember this event happened 3 years ago so clearly and vividly like it was 40 years ago.").

Platform, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore


Next to the ticket checking booth on the platform in the above photo is a large metal cage (just where the man with a sleeveless shirt is standing). Inside the cage was a large dog (i think it was a German shepherd or some large dog). I assumed it was a narcotic dog that was there sniffing out for illegal drugs. When i walked past nervously, it would emit a low growling.

The Customs checkpoint may have been located in Woodlands station, hence the distorted memories part.

I don't think the caged police K9 sniffed for chewing gum as this was 1980s, which was way before the ban of this rubbery sweet (at this time, long hairs were banned, although you didn't need a dog. A human would suffice). Not that there's no dogs that are trained to sniff out food. Most countries wouldn't care too much about food at the airport customs except for Australia and NZ. So i found out one time that a dog suddenly went for my backpack. For a second, i was quite nervous, thinking some body had slipped some illegal narcotics into my backpack. Soon, i found out that the dog was looking for food, not drugs. The dog wasn't hungry, it was trained to search for food. It turned out that i had a package of half finished potato chips, which i totally forgot. If the bag of potato chips was unopened, it was unlikely that the beagle would able to smell it. Yes, it's a good thing the airport authority train the cute little beagle (i think it was beagle) to do this job. Imagine you're lunged at by a German Shepherd or a Great Dame because you carry food in your backpack.

No, i don't think the Singaporean German Shepherd was able to sniff out an unopened chewing gum. On second thought, they probably can.

Main Hall, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
Main Hall of Tanjong Pagar railway station
This semi-circular roof structure of the main hall of the station is reminiscent to another old colonial public transport's main hall, the Clifford Pier. Both are equally elegant and have its own charms. This main hall has a cathedral like atmosphere to it.

Clifford Pier, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
Clifford Pier, now an upmarket dining venue. You won't recognize her after the million-dollar face lift.


Interior, Main hall, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore

Interior, Main hall, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore

Rail lines, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore

children walking on Rail lines, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore child walking on Rail lines, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore

Man planking on Rail lines, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
Either he's doing a planking or a futile attempt at suicide...it's a 9 years wait for the train...
but he would probably die of starvation...mission accomplished!

children playing on Rail lines, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
Taking Thomas the Tank Engine out for a thrilled ride on a life-size train track...Tchjk tchjk tchjk...
They're well prepared, an old hand in the day out to this place

Interior, Main hall, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
A minimum of 150° panorama view
(Click photo to enlarge)
Few people have a camera that covers this wide angle. I've taken a dozen photos and stitch them together.

Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
Hey Wally, where are you?

End of rail lines, Tanjong Pagar Raiway Station, Singapore
The end of the track. Or is it the beginning? It depends on your viewpoint.

Alrighty, c ya in 9 years (or 1 score minus 1 decade and 1 years, if i want to talk like Abe Lincoln).




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