Live Train To Heartbreak Station (Cinderella)

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The Tanjong Pagar Railway Station holds fond memories for me. About a hundred metres from it used to be Cantonment Primary School (currently Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau) where I was a pupil at and I used to pass by the station almost everyday meeting my friends at Spottiswoode Park and Blair Plain. Depending on how the talks between Singapore and Malaysia turn out, the station may eventually be torn down and a new one built closer to the Causeway. That would be rather sad since albeit rundown-looking, the station is without a doubt one of the architecturally iconic buildings in Singapore.

The interior layout is simple with the murals providing the only form of abstract to the otherwise drab white walls. The ticket counter, convenience stall and food court are where most of the human activities take place, apart from those seated on the old plastic benches. Further in, one gets to see the railway lines with 3 flagpoles at the end of them, and interestingly below, a bench. I wonder who sits there.

Nowadays, many would have dropped by the station not with the intention of taking a train ride, but rather to patronise one of the stalls inside M. Hasan Railway Station Canteen or its neighbouring food court. You can get some really good and cheap meals there, especially a year ago when there was a satay seller that easily beats the ones in Lau Pa Sat. We’ve been searching for him for so long ever since he closed his stall.There are also alfresco seatings available along the station’s side entry. However, around 25 years ago, the car park in front of the station was where the best food can be found, churned out by the numerous mobile street hawkers.

Personally, I’ve only taken a train once from the station all the way to Penang with Haizam a few years ago. At almost 20 hours, that was one long boring and tiring trip, and I swore I’ll never take another train trip ever again. Now, only the canteen serves as my only reason to return to the station.

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~ by blackcadillac73 on January 23, 2008.

6 Responses to “Live Train To Heartbreak Station (Cinderella)”

  1. Ah yes …. the grand old lady of KTM. Like you said, nice architecture, but such a sad state of neglect. I hope KTM really does something to it before the high-speed railway line operates (*IF* it does!).

  2. If their LRT construction time is anything to go by, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the new KTM station to be completed anytime soon. 🙂

  3. Yes, FOND MEMORIES for me too. I’ve taken the take numerous times (always to K.L.) – since I was a kid, the excitement was always great to be going any way and anywhere on a holiday – whether it was in the normal seats or the sleeping bay (eating in the “food carriage” was a thrill too). The only downside? The filthy toilets. You guys should really take Sarah on a train ride at least once (use the sleeping carriage) – it can’t be any harder than taking a baby on a plane ride 🙂
    Maybe I’ll do that when I’m in Singapore with Divya.

  4. Taking a train to KL is actually a few hours longer compared to just taking a coach, though still tolerable. The one we took was a 20 hours trip all the way to Penang and by the time we reached there at 4 am, we almost collapsed. We were in the first class seats but you can only look at your friend’s face for so long before it starts to get annoying.

    Maybe we’ll try the sleeping carriage the next time, if that ever happens. 😛

  5. Wow, what a blast to the past. Have not stepped in that station in 20 years or so. Last ride was to KL with my late grandma…

    20 hours to Penang? Was that the ‘mail’ service? If my memory serves me right, it used to take about 7 hours to get to KL on the mail service – meaning, they’d stop at every station to drop off mail. That didn’t include the loooooong stop at JB station. The express service took around 4 to 5 hours. Quite shiok lah. Those were the days 🙂

    Have not tried any of the food at the station. Just like u say, relatives have mentioned the same thing, that they’re good.

  6. No kidding! It was 20 hours to Penang if not more. My friend and I were wondering if we had taken the wrong train and heading to Thailand instead. There were so many stops with some taking longer than 20 minutes.

    The food right now is not as good nor as much variety as a year ago.

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