Thursday, April 9, 2009

from sunset way to teban gardens

the initial climb already posed a bit of a problem for victor. the ascent was quite steep at sunset way to get onto the first bridge across the ulu pandan river. i did not relish the walk across the bridge, something which i had done some weeks earlier with another victor, victor koo. my problem is: i am afraid of height.

it was not meant to be a sequel to our sunset way - bukit timah trek. it was more like 'start all over again' because victor and jason's first attempt in 2004, about 5 years ago - tracing the abandoned railway line from sunset way to jurong port - ended abruptly because of heavy rain. they were somewhere near faber gardens when the downpour occurred. today, we managed to push a bit further; we reached teban gardens and then decided to call it a day.

the metal plates by the sides are safer to use to walk across than the wooden sleepers, which have given way in a few places. it was not a good idea to hold onto the railing by the sides as certain sections had come off.

on both sides of the abandoned track, there are small plots of land that are cultivated by residents from the nearby housing estates. they grow food crops and flowering plants, including these water hyacinth and other water plants. some of the part-time farmers have erected temporary shelters to store their odds and ends.

the track disappears at a few points, to reappear further down the way. somewhere near the s'pore buddhist youth mission, we found a section of the track missing. that section must have been removed to facilitate some construction work that was going on nearby.

according to victor and jason, the undergrowth was very much thicker during their first attempt in 2004 and so they had taken a much longer time to reach the same spot. they had to literally clear a way for themselves by hacking the branches and shrubs in their way. today, there was no need for hacking except for the stretch near the german centre which was overgrown with lots of yellow mimosa.

near faber gardens and jurong town hall road, we came across some notices put up by the land transport authority (lta). it looks that the railway track around this part and another stretch nearer to jurong, will not be around for long when they go ahead with the construction of a road.

along the way from clementi to jurong, we passed under a few flyovers. i have driven over these flyovers but had not been aware of the existence of the abandoned railway track. at one point, the authorities have even installed security cameras under one of the flyovers.

other signs of a track are markers like the one in the photo below. it indicated the 3km mark. wonder where it was measured from?

another railway bridge across the ulu pandan river. this one even had short planks laid between the metal rails.

having learnt from our previous experience, when we soiled our pants and walked with trepidation, visualising an encounter with a snake or other creature in the semi-dark tunnel, we decided to circumvent the tunnel. we crossed the road and walked a short stretch to make it to the other end of the tunnel.

on one wall, at the other end of the tunnel, are these works of art, which have appeared in chun see's blog and this other blog. icemoon also blogged about the railway line but he did not have pictures of the art pieces.

when we reached teban gardens, victor suggested that we stopped for the day. realizing that he had been exhausted by the trek, we agreed that we would postpone the completion of the last section to another day.

this means that we have another instalment to do: tracing the track from block 10 teban gardens to jurong port.


Icemoon said...

The 3km mark should be measured from the mainline at Bukit Timah.

yg said...

icemoon, thks for the info.