Top off Rail Corridor with a museum

As we talk about plans for the Rail Corridor, are we forgetting the actual station itself ("Keep rustic feel of Rail Corridor"; Nov 15)?

The main Tanjong Pagar Railway Station building was where the lifeblood of the entire operation once pulsed. It had a hotel, a bar, two restaurants and a kiosk selling all manner of food, drinks, newspapers and magazines for the trip up north.

It was no Orient Express, but it had its charms. There is a need for a museum which tracks the history of the railway system that connected Singapore and Malaysia from the time it was built, the travellers and the romance of the system's heyday.

There can also be displays on all aspects of rail transportation, from locomotives to railway cars, and even the signalling and track switching equipment.

This would be a meaningful way to begin the journey for those who wish to explore the 24km corridor beyond the main building.

And as they walk along the line, visitors would be taken on a different trip, as they discover areas of interest such as smaller buildings, truss bridges and pockets of nature. There could be signboards put up at relevant points to explain significant parts of the track. Visitors can take all this in at a leisurely pace.

Of course, anything added must complement what is already there, so as to preserve the rustic atmosphere of the past.

Having such a unique corridor would be great not only for the children but also for grown-ups.

It would be another feather in our cap as a city dedicated to preserving our heritage, where possible, in the confines of our limited space.

Manoraj Rajathurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 29, 2015, with the headline 'Top off Rail Corridor with a museum'. Print Edition | Subscribe