This stretch of tracks had been an integral part of Singapore and Malaysia history, that has entrenched deep roots and relationship between both countries. As the time approaches for the railway tracks and the 2 railway stations be returned back to Singapore, it marked the end of an era, bringing the curtains down on a Grand Old Dame, her railway operations and traces of her presence.
There was a great euphoria and intense influx of interest among the citizens here, from the increasing support on a website We Support The Green Corridor, blog posts, conversations on social media networks, local and overseas media. It was great and comforting to know that there are still people around us still caring about something, our heritage and history, from their feelings, actions, photographs and support. However, for the sake of the future of the Railway Tracks and The Green Corridor, I wish that this euphoria is not at its peak and will continue to grow exponentially into bigger heights, a win-win social interaction and action between the citizens and government agencies, to make a difference for the future generations of Singapore.
On 31st July 2011, a Thank You Walk was organised by We Support The Green Corridor Group, to thank the supporters who had been making contributions and sharing on Facebook, spreading the word among their friends and relatives. I was glad that I was there to trek with the group in the Thank You Walk, getting to know like-minded folks Eugene and Jerome, we were all there to help spread the word further and continue making a difference. After 31st July 2011, the railway tracks will not be open to the public and renovation and removal works is on-going to remove the tracks and components, to be returned back to Malaysia as part of the agreement.
It was also disturbing that among us supporters, we saw how vegetation around some tracks behind the Bukit Timah Railway Station were badly damaged (and destroyed), the tracks were totally removed and it was a TOTAL LOSS of any signs or indications of our rich old heritage railway tracks. That hurt many of us, prompting supporters to email and highlight to the authorities on this situation. This matter also appeared in Straits Times Forum, Facebook and blog posts too!
Meanwhile, on another front, the social media side of the future of The Green Corridor is active and on-going, engagements and interactions by government bodies URA, with their Rail Corridor website, updating citizens on the on-going discussions for the future of this belt. Reading from the sidelines and being an active advocate on the Green Corridor, I sensed the overheated emotions and expression via their words and sentences on Facebook, it’s good that people are really passionate and making the effort to preserve the heritage, history and the natural environment. It’s not too good also, if their emotions ruled over their head and using it to “fight” instead of being calm and rational to discuss, suggest and carry on the social media engagements and actions to make The Green Corridor or Rail Corridor into something beautiful and historical.
Personally, I believed that this will turn into its very own special and unique Green Corridor, with inter-connecting Park Connectors to our current National Parks Park Connectors Network where we all can do
– Hiking / Trekking
– Railway History Museums (Bukit Timah and Tanjong Pagar Railway Stations)
– Learning more about the wildlife, flora and fauna (especially around the Clementi Woodlands and Bukit Timah areas)
Check out the map produced by Tom Keeble
View KTM rails to Green Corridor trails in a larger map
While the plans for The Green Corridor are not finalised, reading and following from the blog posts, URA’s responses and social media activities on Facebook, I am kind of relieved and comforted that no major plans for the Green Corridor and they will seek to engage with all relevant parties, organisations and active supporters first, hopefully within these 2 years.
The Million Dollar Question now – What Lies Ahead for The Green Corridor? Nobody has a crystal ball to see the future, what we all can do is to keep this social movement going in all ways possible, share your stories, submit your views and opinions, share your photos, with the power of social media networks and channels, you can make a difference today and for the future, by having this Green Corridor vision coming true!