Lonely Planet Writer

Singapore transforms old railway into new parks

Singapore is to get its own version of the Highline, the elevated and disused railway line that has become a haven for walkers and garden enthusiasts alike – a ‘green expressway’ as it’s been dubbed. But the project in Singapore is somewhat different from its New York counterpart as commentators have highlighted.

Computer generated plan for what the Rail Corridor will look like
Computer generated plan for what the Rail Corridor will look like Image by Nikken Sekkei

The island and nation has decided to convert 24 km of disused railway into a series of community spaces. Named Rail Corridor, the hope is for the spaces on the line to blend into their vicinity, offering such things as rock-climbing walls and urban farms.”It is factually inaccurate to say that the Rail Corridor will become an elevated park or park per se, or even an emulation of the High Line,”  a spokesperson with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Humphrey Stew, told news website Mashable. He said the intention was to blend into the local landscapes and streetscapes.

The railway is already loved by walkers and hikers who refer to it as the ‘green corridor’ and it is a popular route for weekend walks. For this reason some local activist groups, the Nature Society and The Green Corridor, have been putting the government under pressure to keep it as it is.

Locals love walking along the disused rail
Locals love walking along the disused rail Image by pinkktooth/Instagram

The Singaporean government started putting into effect its plans for the Rail Corridor in 2015 when Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei won the tender.

The railway was originally laid down when Singapore was under British rule in the 1920s, and it connected Singapore to Malaysia across the sea. The tracks were last used by a train in 2011 and it has since been used for hikes and walks.

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