Northern stretch of Rail Corridor opens after enhancement works
Key highlights include the new Kranji node that is connected to an events field via a nature trail and a new bridge over Hillview Road that leads to a lookout deck.
SINGAPORE: The northern section of the Rail Corridor from Kranji MRT station to Hillview MRT station opened on Friday (Feb 10), following the completion of enhancement works along the trail.
The opening of this stretch enables continuous north-south connectivity over 21km, up from 13km previously, from Kranji MRT station to Spooner Road, National Parks Board (NParks) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a news release.
About 1 million people live within 1km of the Rail Corridor, according to the agencies.
"Key highlights of the newly completed Rail Corridor (North) include close to 6km of trail enhancements, the new Kranji node with a nature trail connected to an events field and a new bridge over Hillview Road that leads to a lookout deck," NParks and URA said.
"These enhancements will offer the public even more recreational options set amidst nature, and contribute towards NParks' efforts to transform Singapore into a city in nature, a key pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
"The Rail Corridor is part of overall plans to curate a 360km islandwide network of recreational routes, which will contribute towards enabling every household to live within a 10-minute walk of a park by 2030."
To mark the opening of Rail Corridor (North), Minister for National Development and Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration Desmond Lee unveiled a distance marker at the Kranji node and planted a gutta percha tree near the new Hillview Bridge with Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.
The bridge leads visitors to a 6m-high lookout deck, which offers views of Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
The existing pedestrian overhead bridge along Upper Bukit Timah Road has also been extended to provide a direct connection to the Rail Corridor (North), and in turn, granting direct access to Rail Mall.
Visitors can enter Rail Corridor (North) from the Kranji node or via 12 new access paths. Overall, the Rail Corridor now has more than 30 access paths, of which 23 are barrier-free.
Accessibility will be further enhanced with more than 10 access paths that will be completed progressively from the first quarter of this year.
MORE ENHANCEMENTS ON THE WAY
Visitors can look forward to more new features along the Rail Corridor, starting with the addition of more amenities like shelters and toilets by the middle of this year.
New community nodes including one in Buona Vista will be completed by the end of this year. A section of the Rail Corridor trail between Hillview Road and Chestnut Drive, which is currently closed, will also reopen by the end of 2024.
The Rail Corridor will also be connected to Rifle Range Nature Park via a path under the Pan Island Expressway viaduct, while there will be a new entry point at Holland Green Linear Park. Both are scheduled to be completed later this year.
Additionally, it will be linked to the new Clementi Nature Corridor, which itself will be made up of 18km of trails.
The reopening of the former Tanjong Pagar railway station, meanwhile, is expected sometime after 2026.
"These enhancements will offer a variety of recreational options and spaces for respite, as we continue to partner Singaporeans in shaping these spaces and rejuvenate the Rail Corridor as a community space for all to enjoy within our city in nature," NParks and URA said.
The new Kranji node, which is located across from Kranji MRT station, includes a new 2,000 sq m field that can be used for recreational events by members of the public.
The events field is linked to the Rail Corridor (North) by a 250m-long nature trail.
"Rail Corridor (North)'s natural character is retained with a planting palette of native terrestrial forest, back mangrove and coastal species such as the gutta percha and Malayan eaglewood tree," NParks and URA said.
When the original Hillview Road railway bridge was dismantled in 2011, pedestrians lost seamless pedestrian connectivity across the road and along the Rail Corridor. The new Hillview Bridge restores this connectivity.
The bridge was "sensitively replaced", with railway tracks embedded into the flooring of the new bridge to reflect the function of the original bridge as a railway crossing, NParks and URA said.