Hello again! So my promise of more frequent blog posts clearly hasn't come to fruition as of yet, so in order to hopefully encourage me to blog more regularly, I've decided to devote some time to an area that I'm particularly passionate about: social history.
The aim of #EdwardExploresSG is to explore the vast array of landmarks (some well known and some less known) that Singapore has to offer, and to complement my Instagram posts with a more detailed description of the locations here on this blog. Because let's be honest, nobody likes reading lengthy instagram captions right? It'll also allow me to include a greater array of visuals to help tell the story.
So without further ado, I'm kicking things off with The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, built in 1932 and now abandoned aside from on specific public holidays when it is opened to the public to come and explore. And explore is exactly what I did...
The facade certainly strikes an imposing figure and it was in fact modelled after Finland's Helsinki Central Railway Station (the weather today had absolutely nothing in common with Finland's however.) It's rather hard to tell from the above photo, as a whole bunch of palm trees decided to get in the way, but there are four giant figures attached to the front of the station, each representing Industry, Agriculture, Transport, and Industry. The M that you can see above the figure is the "Malay" in Federated Malay States Railways, obviously named long before Singapore was Singapore.
Once inside, one is struck straightaway by the murals depicting early 19th Century life in Malaysia and Sinagpore, again representing the four major tenants featured on the facade, and it's crazy to see how vivid the colours in the murals remain, despite them being almost a century old. Hopefully I can still look as youthful at that age...
In its heyday, the station and its fleet of trains acted as one of the main ways of connecting Singapore and Malaysia, and it's fascinating to see all the remnants of this former life still in such great condition. Don't you think the above photo has a certain Wes Anderson style aesthetic about it?
Since the station's closure, the only remaining KTM rail connection between the two countries is served by Woodlands Railway Station. Given the constant traffic, both vehicular and human, at the Woodlands checkpoint, one can only imagine how busy Tanjong Pagar Station would once have been, but now it stands in silent solitude.
The station is now only open to public access on public holidays as well as for private functions, but there are plans to convert it into a Railway Museum, which I think would be a great way of preserving its history and enabling future generations to once again fill a station which would otherwise be confined to the history books.
Well that's all from me on this one, but please feel free to suggest any other interesting locations (the more obscure the better) that are well worth a visit, as well as giving me any tips on how to make future posts more interesting, just in case this one had your eyelids struggling to stay open -_-
Until next time!