The Train Has Left the Station But the Rail Mall’s Still Here

This is one place that is really out of the way for most Singaporeans. And for this reason alone, it is a great place for afternoon tea with family and friends.

About a year ago, The Rail Mall was one of the starting points for locals and foreigners alike wanting to take a last look at the railway before the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) trains ceased operations from Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and the railway land handed back to Singapore.

Yet, when I was there on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, I still saw a couple of photographers snapping away on the railway track and bridge. I didn’t venture that far as I was short of time.

According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore, the return of the former railway land presented a unique opportunity for a comprehensive review of their plans. As such, plans are underway to redevelop the railway land into a “Rail Corridor”:http://www.ura.gov.sg/railcorridor/index.html, which will preserve it as a green belt, a venue for sports, art and culture, and even horticulture.

In the meantime, The Rail Mall is attracting another group of visitors; those who want a quiet place to chill out alone or with a small group of friends.

Located in Bukit Timah Singapore, The Rail Mall sits among one of the most expensive districts in Singapore. However, to call it a mall is really a misnomer. The ‘mall’ is really just a row of shops, which includes bars, restaurants, coffee outlets, a medical center, a spa, and a supermarket.

Looking at the clientele and its location, the shops are mainly patronized by people living in the surrounding area.

The atmosphere is rather laid back. So much so that an international coffee joint didn’t even bother to shoo away a cat that was sleeping on one of its chairs.

The Rail Mall is not one of the easiest places to get to by public transport. However, this is all set to change when The Rail Mall gets its own Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train station that is estimated to be completed by 2015.

written by uncle_jay on 2012-05-31 in #world #locations

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