The former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Railway along Tanglin Halt is a dismantled segment in the West Coast Line of the Malayan Railway. The railway line between Kranji and Tank Road was first opened in 1903. The line was extended to Woodlands in 1907, then to Johor in 1923 and Tanjong Pagar Station in 1932. The Malayan Railways were built to service the booming tin and rubber industries in Malaya and the port at Keppel.
The Malayan Railways had two stations in Queenstown. The first station was located at a warehouse in the former Archipelago Brewery Company where IKEA now stands, and the second station was located at Tanglin Halt Industrial Estate. The boisterous honking sound from the KTM trains was a common feature in Tanglin Halt. Nawawi (b. 1994) a resident at Block 55 Tanglin Halt, recalled, “Our family moved into Commonwealth Drive fifteen years ago. For the first six months or so, we were extremely irritated by the unpredictable bellows from the oncoming trains. They caused us numerous sleepless nights!”
Jimmy Ng (b. 1952), an ex-resident at Tanglin Halt, added, “There were boys who would throw stones at the oncoming trains, lie flat between the tracks or jog along the railway line towards Queens’ Crescent. The railway seemed to be a part and parcel of our lives.”
In 2010, an agreement was struck by the leaders of Singapore and Malaysia to jointly develop ‘the KTM land’. The railway tracks were removed in 2011. Today, the dismantled stretch known as the “Rail Corridor” is a popular recreation site for families and friends.