Glow-in-the-dark section of Rail Corridor now open

Sometimes, the brightest light comes from the darkest places. Residents can now head out at night to bask in the glow of the Rail Corridor's test stretch behind Bukit Panjang MRT station. One section has been surfaced with light green strontium alumi
Sometimes, the brightest light comes from the darkest places. Residents can now head out at night to bask in the glow of the Rail Corridor's test stretch behind Bukit Panjang MRT station. One section has been surfaced with light green strontium aluminate minerals, which absorb ultraviolet light during the day and cause the track to emit a soft glow at night.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

A test stretch of the Rail Corridor, which includes a section that glows in the dark, has been completed.

The 400m-long "track", behind Bukit Panjang MRT station off Choa Chu Kang Road, has been open to the public since July 12, Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao reported yesterday.

Four different surface materials each take up a 100m stretch: grass and gravel, fine gravel, earth-coloured porous concrete, and natural non-toxic light green strontium aluminate minerals, which absorb ultraviolet light during the day and cause the track to emit a soft glow at night.

This "test track" will undergo a trial to determine which surface material best results in a safer and more resilient trail. Government agencies will evaluate the durability of the materials and the public will be invited to give feedback. Luminous pathways are not new, with similar ones in the Netherlands and Poland.

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Housewife Cynthia Chua, 25, was at the Rail Corridor last night riding a scooter with her husband and her toddler. She said the luminous portion of the test track is good for night cycling, but added: "No matter how bright the path is, without street lights, it still remains risky as it is hard to see what is ahead."

Student Yau Chun Yi, 17, preferred the stretch to remain natural with grass, as it had a more relaxed vibe.

He said: "Even if it rains and the place turns muddy, I do not find it much of a problem."

Lee Min Kok and Sean Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'Glow-in-the-dark section of Rail Corridor now open'. Print Edition | Subscribe