Railway station closes chapter

A historic chapter will close on Thursday at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

Seven trains, bound for Malaysia, will make their final journey from the station on Thursday.

Many have flocked to the station to take a last train ride from the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

One of them is 64-year-old Mohd Jani Abdul Manap, who arrived in Singapore from Kuala Lumpur to do just that.

Mr Mohd Jani said the station brings back fond memories.

“When I was a boy, my father was a customs officer near Tanjong Pagar Road, it’s nearby this railway station,” he said.

“My brother and I used to play here. This is part of our playground — we used to catch spiders.

“I came here all the way with my brother… to wish farewell to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.”

Tickets for all five express trains have been sold out since late May).

However, passengers without advance tickets still queued up at the ticket counter for the shuttle trains at 7.15 am and 6.55 pm.

All food stalls have been vacated.

Many who visited the station on Thursday said they will miss the station’s neo-classical facade and art deco features.

Passenger Robert Hoyes-Cock said: “What I’ll miss most, is that I’m currently living in Portsdown Road area, and actually I can hear the train every night when I go to sleep.

“So, it will be a bit strange not hearing the train anymore in my neighbourhood”.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page called ‘The Last Train Into Tanjong Pagar’ has been set up.

It has accumulated more than 600 fans since it was created earlier this month.

Facebook page creator Jerome Lim said: “It was for me a personal journey because what I wanted to do was to have a last homecoming back into Tanjong Pagar.

“There’s always a kind of romance associated with train rides.

“I guess that’s a throwback maybe to the glory days of train travel, maybe in the 30s. (For) Tanjong Pagar, it has this huge great hall, and I think that in itself, is an experience you won’t get again with the train station moving to Woodlands Train Checkpoint”.

The man who will be the last to leave the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is station manager Mohd Ayob Embong.

“Of course, I’ll be sad. All the staff, I know very well,” he said.

“The thing I will miss most is this building. I have been here for six years inside this building every day from 2.30 in the morning until 11 pm.”

All 91 staff members of the Malayan railway will take the last train out at 11 pm.

At the stroke of midnight, Singapore will take ownership of the station.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 30 Jun 2011

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