Exploring The Rail Corridor North: Hillview To Choa Chu Kang

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Looking for more walks to learn more about Singapore’s history and biodiversity? A really easy walk to take is along the rail corridor or the green corridor. This corridor stretches from Tanjong Pagar all the way to Kranji where the Singapore to Malaysia KTM line used to run. Like some of you, I have not-so-distant memories of the KTM trains chugging away nearby as I grew up near the tracks near Rail Mall.

The Southern part of the Rail Corridor begins from Tanjong Pagar station towards Bukit Timah Railway Station, the central part stretches from Bukit Timah to Hillview Road, passing through the Clementi Forest.

The final stretch is called the Rail Corridor North which starts at Hillview and ends in Kranji.


An Easy Walk from Hillview to Choa Chu Kang

An Easy Walk from Hillview to Choa Chu Kang

We started our route from across CHIJ Bukit Timah, at the time of visit, Upper Bukit Timah Truss Bridge was closed for enhancement works. Parts of the rail corridor were also closed and the alternate path was the pedestrian walkway. As we planned a cool evening walk, we did not plan to hike all the way to Kranji.

 

Entering the “green” corridor was a soothing experience. While the path was quite near the main road and also nearby construction work, it was a pleasant walk amidst the trees and bushes. Lalang, tall shrubs and trees lined our path. We could only imagine how trains passed the stretch just a decade ago.

Rail Corridor North path

It was a delight to the senses as we could hear and see birds like collared kingfishers and the rustling of leaves. The path was also walkable and quite stroller-friendly. The rail corridor was evidently a popular route for cyclists as well as hikers.

Rail Corridor North 14km

Ask the children to spot clues on how the trains used to chug by. Signs such as distance markers, groove marks of tracks, the height of grass on the track and out of the track are good ways to tell the signs of the past.

Rail Corridor North oval-shaped crowned tree

Don’t forget to spot the oval-shaped crowned tree as you walk towards Choa Chu Kang. It stood out for us and was a charming thumb amidst the shrubs. We have no idea what species this tree is, but do share with us the information if you do!

As you advance towards Bukit Panjang MRT, there is a very interesting stretch ahead!


Rail Corridor Test Track where part of it glows in the dark

Rail Corridor North Rail Corridor Test Track where part of it glows in the dark

There is 400 metre of track made of different materials – fine gravel, porous concrete, glow-in-the-dark, grass and gravel. You can try walking on it and feel the difference in the materials proposed to be used in parts of the rail corridor.

Rail Corridor North Rail Corridor Test Track where part of it glows in the dark

What is even more interesting was – beneath the four surface materials are layers of rock excavated from the construction of Jurong Rock Caverns. Jurong Rock Caverns are 25m underground on Jurong Island for storage of hydrocarbons.


Getting to Rail Corridor North

Rail Corridor North getting there

It is easy to get to Rail Corridor North – as it is right next to some of the train stations on the Downtown line such as Hillview, Cashew, Bukit Panjang. You can choose to park near Hillview station then take a bus or train back down later. If you are up for it – it takes about 3 to 4 hours to hike the whole stretch of the Rail Corridor.

Parts of the Rail Corridor may be closed due to construction works, do check this site for updates. We think the corridor is perfect for families with young children and makes for an easy walk. Tag us @littledayout when you embark on your adventure!