A final view before the closeure of the station02 July, 2011 by Yan
As of June 30th 2011, Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will be closing down for good. Since announcements were made to cease all operations last year, people have been flocking to the railway station to witness this piece of history. Like many other curious Singaporeans, I went down to the station to take a look on the very last day itself.
Being the one and only actual railway transport system in the whole of Singapore, Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was seen as both a means to travel to our neighboring country, Malaysia and a reminder of the heritage that our fast progressing country is lacking in. This was my last chance to see this living piece of history, before the hustle and bustle was to disappeared forever.
There were two other groups of people flocking to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station on its final day. Many were ticket holders who would be sitting on the trains this final day. While, the other group consisted of those hoping to get hold of some tickets for the final journey.
But news reports had indicated that all tickets for the past few days had been a huge sellout, so any effort to get last minute tickets were in vain. I didn’t see anyone trying to sell 2nd hand tickets for a higher price in the vicinity.
There were of course lots of visitors who were armed with cameras, video cameras and a plethora of every other imaginable image capturing equipment. These people actually constituted an even larger portion of the crowd visiting the railway station this last day, myself included.
With the railway station shutting down, many Singaporean were looking to keep the memories alive in their hearts and minds. So, in such occasions it’s not a rare sight to see everyone armed with cameras to keep a fragment of memory for safekeeping.
With all the image capturing done, I just had a couple more touristy stuff to do before leaving the place for good. No doubt sensing the great money earning opportunity, the KTM staff had actually brought out a ton of souvenirs to sell to the masses. It might just had been some simple postcards, pins, tags, t-shirts and other generic stuff, but the people there still grabbed them up with enthusiasm knowing that this would be the last day they could do this.
Just remember to get your items signed by the station master before leaving the premises.
This sums up about the very short trip I made down to Tanjong Pagar Railway station. To witness it finally go down as another page in Singapore history, definitely stirs up some emotion and nostalgia. As of July 1st 2011, the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and all the KTM railway land will belong to Singapore.
Even though the government had agreed to keep the old station building preserved via the National Heritage Board’s decisions, what plans they have in mind still remains a mystery. Almost everyone suspects that the building premises will be refurbished into a museum but there are also rumors that Singapore might want to convert the railway to a local owned railway service.
No matter the decision, most Singaporeans will be happy that this historical monument will not be destroyed in the name of Singapore’s progress and development.