Tanjong Pagar Station

Sketching the railway along Blair Road On 30 June, the Tanjong Pagar railway station would run her last laps to Malaysia after operating for some decades since 1932. The closure of this train station would impact many Singaporeans and Malaysians alike, and it would be a historical event from now on. Since the announcement made last year May to close this station, some sketchers in Singapore have made this station at Tanjong Pagar a sketching location. We were all sad to hear the news. I sketched twice last year and wished I did more.
Today, I visited the station to see many Singaporeans, Malaysians and Indonesians flocking to the station to steal the last glimpses and reminisce her past glorious days. I was also at Blair Road where I could see the rails ending and stretching towards the north. Here's the work in progress of the sketch done at that location. I used my fav Hero fountain pen for this.
Sketching the railway along Blair Road
When I posted this sketch on FB after completing it, I received a comment from a friend, Amy, saying:我聽說新加坡有火車站將被拆毀, 是這裡嗎?我還沒有讀新聞, 並不知道詳情. 若是這一個, 爾後將會變成歷史的痕跡, 僅是記憶中的一部分. 不知道是否心理作用,Don 你所畫的這個素描, 感覺有點滄桑. 凡走過必留痕跡, 你把記憶留在素描中, 真好.
Her words touched me. Thank you Amy! Here's the completed sketch with watercolor washes.
Sketching the railway along Blair Road
Sketching @ Tanjong Pagar Railway station Sketching @ Tanjong Pagar Railway station
I did another sketch of the travelers waiting for their train to arrive in the lobby within the station. There was a huge crowd comprising of travelers and onlookers, many were snapping pictures away. It was a moment to cherish. 2 guys came up to me to see what I sketched and immediately recognized their dad in the picture. They were elated and called out their family to come see. Then I realized that I actually sketched their entire family. They are the Manap family who is going back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via the train. Though they are from Indonesia, they live in KL but always travel to and fro Singapore & Malaysia via the train.
Sketching @ Tanjong Pagar Railway station
Sketching @ Tanjong Pagar Railway station I talked to several people while I was sketching. Most of them said they would miss coming to Singapore via the train. Starting from July 1 (which is today), the train would end at the Woodlands checkpoint, north of Singapore. The part of the rail that runs across the Singapore island would be closed. Tanjong Pagar station would also stop operating while the land would be re-acquired by the government. Many said the decision was made without notifying the people or the consent of the people.
A businessman from Malaysia said he was pretty sad to see the closure of the Tanjong Pagar station. He said he has been taking the train to Singapore since he was a child. There was once he came to Singapore for a job interview via the train too. This time he returned from KL just to take the train from this station, so he could get a picture of the sign post that says "Singapura" which means Singapore in Malay.
Well though I did not get to sit on the last train that operates today, I recalled those times when I had the opportunity to board the train from this station. I sincerely hope the authority would preserve the building and its heritage in this area. I believe many people have fond memories of this place and it would be great these memories are kept with the preservation of the station.

After seeing this post on Urban Sketchers Blog, Asnee shared in the comments:
"great job don, come to think of it, i should have gone to sketch it too while there. part of my memory was imbedded with this railway station. i twice took the train from singapore to thailand, first around mid 70 when i took leave after my first year in singapore, still a young graduate, alone i stop by all the way in KL, penang, part of southern thailand and it took me a week to reach hometown bangkok.

my second trip was with my son when he was in his teens, in 90s i think. it was a fun trip of father and son as well as a man and a man kind of thing. we both enjoyed the trip.

so, so long, KTM station at Tanjong Pagar. through my 20 odds years experience in singpore, so many things, places, disappeared, literally right in front of my eyes.

cheers, all. my singapore friends"

Thank you Asnee for making my post special by sharing story with us all. :D

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