Singapore makes KTM train stations into national monuments (Update #1)

TRANSIT took note of this news from down south, where the Singapore government has decided to make the KTM station at Tanjong Pagar into a national monument. In addition the smaller station at Bukit Timah will also be preserved.

Singapore makes train station national monument (The Star)
8 April 2011

SINGAPORE : Singapore says it will preserve the 1930s train station as a national monument after Malaysia hands over control of the building later this year. Image courtesy of The Star.

SINGAPORE : [The] Singapore [government] says it will preserve the 1930s train station as a national monument after Malaysia hands over control of the building later this year.

The Preservation of Monuments Board said Friday that it hasn’t decided if the downtown Tanjong Pagar Railway Station will be open for tours.

The station has Neoclassical and Art-Deco architecture. It features a 72-foot (20-meter) -high ceiling over the central hall and tiled wall murals depicting scenes from Malaya, as Malaysia was known under British rule that ended in 1957.

Singapore joined Malaysia in a union in 1963, but split two years later. Malaysia held on to the station despite the split. The two countries agreed last year to a land swap that gives Singapore control of a railroad and stations that run through the island.

TRANSIT Says:

That’s good news for those who are interested in Railway Heritage and Railway Tourism activities. We certainly hope that the station will be opened to tour activities and the stall holders will still manage to get income out of the tourist visits.

The station site would also be a good place for a heritage railway museum, to supplement the Land Transport Gallery at the LTA offices in Little India.

The topic has made the international news with at least 50 stories, including this one from AFP here.

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6 thoughts on “Singapore makes KTM train stations into national monuments (Update #1)”

  1. I think if Malaysia is “Singapore” in this case, Malaysian government will find the fastest chance to tear down the building because the Malaysian government will claim that this building does not reflect patriotism and nationalism. Unlike the government of Singapore and other countries who really know how to protect their “heritage buildings”. If it’s not because of lack of land/land constraint, Singapore government will definitely keep more heritage buildings.

  2. According to @Wrongdoings_rapidkl comments, I bet he does not really know the real picture of our Malaysia public transport. He definitely does not take public transport everyday.Well, the recent big arrest for graft and corruptions aren’t clear enough?? My comment is always based on true hard facts. Many Malaysians know the real dark truth whether you like it or not. Furthermore, what do you think Malaysian government can do to improve our public transport with RM105 billion of graft money per year?? It’s been more than 10 years, every year the graft money is RM105 billion. Do you think our government still need to borrow money to build MRT system and improve other public transportation system nationwide if we have this kind of money every year??? So Wrongdoings_rapidKL. Do you think I’m supporting any political party or I’m just stating the fact?? Even our Prime Minister admit that every year, Malaysia is losing out approx. RM105 billion due to graft and corruptions. Do you think he need to make this statement if none of these things happen?? Whether I’m just stating nothing but pure true facts or I’m supporting the oppostion political parties it’s your right to make your guess and speculations. All I know is I’m just stating hard true facts, I’m totally fed up already!!! With all those money, do you know how many poor or hardcore/needy Malaysians can be saved???!!! THINK THINK THINK!!!! Don’t just support the government BLINDLY AND RECKLESSLY!!! EVEN I HAVE TO BE DETAINED/ARRESTED UNDER ISA I ALSO HAVE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!!! I CANNOT COVER UP MY CONSCIOUS AND HUMANITY AND PRETEND NOTHING HAPPENED!!!

  3. Take a chill pill, Jeffrey.

    The Tanjong Pagar railway station is really a sight to see. It still has signs linking it to the old colonial era, such as the “Federated Malay States” board at one corner of the station’s hall.

    Truth be told, I was a bit apprehensive when I first heard of the land swap, as it would/may have been a precursor to future development (more condos anyone?).

    In a recent trip down south, I was told by a KTMB officer that trains heading into Singapore would be making their final stops at the Woodlands station by July. Care to confirm this, Transit?

    1. Hi Patrick

      That appears to be the plan – we aren’t sure of the exact date.

      As for the preservation of buildings in Singapore, one has to wonder if this would have gone another way if the public had not petitioned for the building to be retained as is.

      This is actually a very positive bit of news because they are going to preserve both stations and find some uses for them.

      I’m hoping that the government will agree to preserving the Tg. Pagar railway station and turning it into a museum of Singapore Railway History – with a segment on the KTM history as well as FMSR.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  4. It is the only ‘grand’ terminal station in KTMB system, and one of the only 3 terminal station in this system. It will be a great loss if they decide to tear it down. Any news of the future plan for old Kuala Lumpur train station?

    1. @Aznor

      Kuala Lumpur railway station is the “home” of the Electric Train Service (ETS) and Komuter trains stop within the station complex itself rather than the older “north” platform.

      It is hoped that, since ETS is meant to cater to a business-friendly market, there will an increase in “business-friendly” services at the station – coffee shops, printing services, suitable meeting venues, etc. aside from the existing KTM ETS lounge.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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