Saturday, June 25, 2011

The precious flora and fauna along the railway tracks

Greenery, Nature and a romantic age of train travel through Singapore.

We have treasures right in our homeland,
So precious and endearing.
And all that it takes to find our treasures,
Is to look beyond the non-essentials,
And pay a little more attention,
With a dose of tender loving care.

This butterfly seems to be a Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya wallacei).
Photo Credit: Belinda Tan.

19 June 2011: On a very fine Sunday morning, strangers and friends who have never met gathered at Old Holland Road for a special walk to Bukit Timah Railway Station and to Hindhede Road. This walk, The Green Corridor Walk along Bukit Timah was led by Mr Jerome Lim, author of the blog "The Long and Winding Road".

Curiosity for the Singapore Railway Transfer Ordinance of 25 October 1918 and the September 2010 land swap agreement that was reached between Singapore and Malaysia had led me to attend a Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Tour on 21 May 2011. Then in the most pleasantly unexpected ways, I found myself travelling to parts of Singapore that were previously unknown to me.

Walking parallel with the railway tracks.

I visited several sections of the railway line and I simply fell in love with the beauty of the flora and fauna along the railway line. I did not realize that there is a stretch of uninterrupted beautiful green-land that meanders through my beloved country of Singapore. So, it is with delight and pride that I share with you the precious flora and fauna that could be enjoyed along the section of the railway track from Old Holland Road to Hindhede Road.

A bee that cheers.
Photo Credit: Belinda Tan.

Pure and white.
Photo Credit: Belinda Tan.

Morning glory.
Photo credit: Belinda Tan.

As I was enjoying the rejuvenating walk along the railway tracks, I cannot help but to have lots of respect for an amazing lady, Belinda Tan, who often bent herself down and knelt to the ground so as to capture the beautiful sightings along the railway track. It is with great honour that she so graciously and generously gave me the permission to share some of her photographs on this blog post. Thanks Belinda! I dedicate this post to you!

A fly that was enjoying a morning rest.
Photo Credit: Belinda Tan.

Doing my best to be a cautious and mindful member of the group, I stayed at least three-metres away from the railway track once I knew that the train would be passing by at any time. Maybe I was too conscientious, I could not help but to keep members of the group informed of schedule of the train. Safety is always first.

Along the way to the Bukit Timah Station, the group was very lucky to catch a glimpse of a passing train. The train must have powers to charm, doesn't it? When the train passed by, almost everyone wore a delightful smile on his or her face.

Bye train!

Mr Jerome Lim was sharing with the group about the old Jurong line.
Remnants of the decommissioned Jurong line.

During the walk, I was most curious to learn more about the Jurong Line which used to branch off at Bukit Timah Station. The Jurong Line which was constructed as an extension of the main railway line in the mid 1960s to serve the new industrial estate in Jurong. You could imagine that I was paying special attention to our guide when he spoke about the Jurong Line. For the rest of the time, please pardon me, my ears were listening to the wonderful orchestration created by Nature and all the living-beings in the untouched green-land.

A dragonfly which was pleased with its home along the railway line.
Photo Credit: Belinda Tan
I realized that I need a crash course in flora and fauna of Singapore.
Photo Credit: Belinda Tan.

A brick bridge that was built for the train to pass over the canal.
Photo Credit: Belinda Tan.

Interestingly, while my group-mate, Belinda, was paying attention to the minute details found on the leaves and bushes, I was focusing on the trees that grew tall and sturdy along the sides of the railway tracks. What we do have in common is our appreciation for Nature.

Bukit Timah Station.
The Truss Bridge.

As I trekked along the sides of the railway track whose fate from 1 July 2011 is still relatively unknown, I gave thanks for the opportunity to enjoy the therapeutic and refreshing walk along a stretch of the uninterrupted green-land. I have no idea if my descendants would ever get a chance to walk along this similar stretch of green-land like I did. I hope that they will.

Waking up early to walk at least three kilometres along the railway tracks has its rewards. When we were at Hindhede Road, we caught sight of yet another passing train!

The steel girder bridge at Hindhede Road.
Please read Jerome Lim's post on this section of the railway line.

If this post of the precious flora and fauna found along the railway line has enticed you in some ways, I would strongly encourage you to go for one of the Green Corridor walks. Then you can be in a much better position to decide for yourself if you would find it meaningful and worthwhile to support The Green Corridor Proposal to preserve the railway land as a green corridor based on environmental, social, recreational and historical benefits.

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