Since its closure in 2011, the KTM Railway tracks has attracted many visitors, marathon runs and more importantly the promotion of The Green Corridor.
Yet a short distance away from the main station at Bukit Timah lies a hidden extension of the former KTM Railway tracks. Starting at Sunset Way and stretching 14km to the Exxon Mobil facility in Pulau Samulun, this is known as the Jurong Railway and was completed in 1965 to facilitate the transportation of cargo to the Jurong Industrial Estate.
Compared to the KTM Railway tracks, the Jurong Railway line is a lot more challenging due to the tunnels and barely visible tracks hidden beneath thick vegetation and undergrowth.
The easiest way to begin is to start off at the field opposite Block 41 on Teban Gardens Road (take bus 79 or 143 from Jurong East Interchange). There are some tracks to the right of the block which lead you to a series of little home-made gardens, a few of which you will notice along the stretch of the railway line.
Walking along you will come to the next ‘checkpoint’ where an array of furniture and random apparel greet you below a bridge. Next up is sort of highlight of the walk, through a relatively long tunnel which is almost pitch black and rather slippery due to the buildup of mud in the area, so watch your step!
Upon exiting you’d be wondering where to walk out to. My advice for those not wearing long pants or proper tracking shoes is to walk up to the pavement beside the AYE and take a walk along pass the Ulu Pandan Park Connector and through the Faber Hills Estate.
Many of the residents in this estate have made their own little garden plots along the hidden railway tracks, planting anything from papayas to sweet potato leaves. There are also great photo ops here as the tracks are a lot more visible, with the bridges and trees lending for nice spots of sunlight to fall through.
A couple hundred metres ahead takes you to the much photographed truss bridge above the Ulu Pandan Canal, unfortunately it is closed off to public but still accessible if you’re a little adventurous, just watch your step along the way.
The Jurong Railway line is really an adventure for most of us used to the ease of urban living in Singapore, it’s been a while since I’ve got that familiar grass itch and I do hope to be able to check out some other parts of this railway in time to come.