Saturday, August 7, 2010

changing scene - kranji
(kranji railway crossing)

there used to be a kampong kranji near to the railway crossing. in fact, just beside the track, there was a short road called jalan surau. (a surau is a prayer room/ a small mosque.) in the patch of secondary forest between the former army camp and kranji loop, there is a small malay (muslim) cemetery. i had not noticed this in the past when i drove past this point. today, when we decided to walk to the hut next to the crossing, i saw the tomb stones.

this stretch of kranji road is usually lined with vehicles, mainly, heavy ones, in the mornings and evenings. the waiting traffic towards woodlands road can sometimes stretch more than a kilometre. the cause of this congestion is the bottleneck at the crossing which permits one directional flow when the light is in its favour. prior to 1990, before the traffic light controls were in place, it must have been more chaotic. i cannot imagine how it was like when there were no barriers. i suppose users had to be very alert to the sound of the whistle and the train.

in singapore, all the gates at the five railway crossings are manually operated. the four crossings are at kranji, sungei kadut avenue, stagmont, chua choa kang and bukit gombak.

when the barrier across the road is in place, traffic comes to a standstill in both directions. this will take only a few minutes, the time needed for the train to clear this crossing. the barrier is manned by an employee of (malayan railway) ktm. he stays in the ramshackle of a hut most of the time. a few years back, there were some concrete structures but these have all been demolished. even the rambutan and mango trees seem to have disappeared.

come july next year, this scene will eventually change. with the track no more in use, this section of the road can then be widened to facilitate the normal flow of traffic. however, i hope they do not make it too wide or too straight as many drivers, especially of trucks, here have a tendency to speed.


PChew said...

Changing Scene - Kranji stirs my memory of 1975. I visited Kranji Loop and Sungei Kadut regularly. To get into the industrial estate I had to pass through the narrow Kranji Road. The traffic was chaotic especially at the railway crossing. There were heavy vehicles from the army camp and the factories in the industrial estate. They appeared like bullies, forcing their way through.

yg said...

philip, there will always be bullies in this kind of situation. some give you the impression that they have more rights on the road.

Uncle Phil said...

If my memory is correct, was the photo taken where there was once a pineapple canning factory about a kilometre away.

yg said...

phil, these were very recent pictures. the pineapple canning factory was at nearby lam huat road but i think it is no longer around. i have not ventured to that part of kranji.

Anonymous said...

two pineapple canning factory, lam huat and chuan seng. my great2222 grandfather open that kampong in 1860,name after the tree Kranji. muslim cemetry still there; I was born there.

yg said...

anonymous, thanks for the info. yes, i have explored the area where the muslim cemetery is located. i think there was a mosque in the vicinity.

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