#ShapingOurCity: The Rail Corridor
The Rail Corridor. Previously a KTM Railway Line from Woodlands to Tanjong Pagar. Now a 24km green canvas for Singapore.
When ownership of the land returned to the Singapore government in 2011, most of the tracks, sleepers and railway equipment were removed as agreed. And we recognised its potential as a refuge from our concrete jungle: where wildlife could move safely across long distances without roads, making it a habitat and source of food for Singapore’s native species, especially those from the nearby Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Thus began the re-wilding of the rail corridor. NParks and Friends of the Rail Corridor carefully removed non-native plant species, returning the landscape to its original rainforest structure. More than 1,600 native trees have been planted, such as the rare and endangered Magnolia Singapurensis, the critically endangered Cengal Pasir, Singapore Kopsia, and the Oil Fruit Tree and Jelutong, which occur locally in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Stream biodiversity was also protected through using granite rocks — to create new habitats in pools and crevices, encourage more freshwater life and conserve native creatures such as the Common Walking Catfish and the Malayan Freshwater Prawn.
We also minimised disturbance to the animals’ nocturnal rhythms, by keeping the trail free of artificial lights. Since then, the Malayan Colugo, the critically endangered Sunda Pangolin, the Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo and the endangered Straw-Headed Bulbul have been observed using the trail.
Our safekeeping efforts also included protecting heritage structures along the corridor, such as the Bukit Timah and Tanjong Pagar Railway Stations, and truss bridges. And now, with better access points created for walkers, runners, hikers, and cyclists, we can all enjoy the Rail Corridor as a treasure trove of biodiversity and heritage; an interlocking ecosystem of human and wildlife that lies — quite literally — in the heart of our city. #ShapingOurCity