04 July 2010

Jurong Industrial Estate Rail Link

Opened: 11th November 1965
Status : Disused, partly dismantled 2010

The Straits Times 10.11.1965 - Wed.
Jurong Industrial estate rail link to open soon

KUALA LUMPUR Tues – The 15 mile extension of the railway line from Bukit Timah to the Jurong industrial estate will be open to traffic in the next few days. It was announced here today.A statement from the Malayan Railway Administration said that at least 400,000 tons of traffic was expected on this new line annually bringing in $3 to $4 million revenue.The project was launched at the request of Singapore’s Economic Development Board which provided the Malayan Railway with a loan of nearly $6 million to carry out the job.

Five tunnels
This loan will be repaid by the Malayan Railway on the basis of the tonnage moved over the Jurong extension.
Work on the extension began in 1963. About a million cubic yards of earth was moved.

The Economic Development Board also built five tunnels, eight bridges and 22 culverts before handing over the job of laying the track to the Malayan Railway.The Malayan Railway will initially operate a cement clinker train from Perak to Jurong.Arrangement are also in hand to run trains conveying iron ore and timber from the East Coast of Malaya to Jurong.

The Straits Times 12.11.1965 - FRI

Another milestone in Singapore’s industrialization programmed was passed today.
The new railway to serve the Jurong industrial complex made its first public run from Bukit Timah station, carrying a party of Press representatives and officials of the railway and Economic Development Board.
The $5.5 million rail project providing a total of 12 miles of new tracks to various parts of the Jurong Industrial Estate is almost fully completed.

The branch lines , which are still under construction are due to be completed by January when the whole Jurong system will become fully operative.Today’s preliminary run, which was made at a leisurely pace with a number of stops, was along the nine-mile mainline from Bukit Timah to the site of the Mobil refinery, where the party was greeted by Mr. John R. Kendall, general manager of the refinery and conducted to the company’s office for light refreshments.

3 branch lines
The main line to the refinery is capable of extension to zones earmarked for futher development westwards in Jurong.Three branch lines, yet to be completed form part of the system. One leads to the heavy industries area, another to the wharf area and the third to the National Iron and Steel Mills.

Marshalling Yard

The main line run today was via Clementi Road and Ulu Pandan and entering the Jurong area provided a simulating view of industrial development-completed and under construction stretching over a vast area on both sides of the track.The project called for the building of 22 different culverts of various sizes, eight steel bridges and three tunnels.A marshalling yard, initially consisting of six tracks has been built and provision has been made for further possible extensions.

A godown incorporating a goods shed and a custom office, now being built will be ready by early January.
The new Jurong railway will be open to traffic from Monday, It is expected that the volume of rail transportation from the industrial estate will be 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 tons a year, and train frequency is expected to be seven to ten trains a day.

The Straits Times 12.11.1965 - FRI
New Railway

Five years ago the notion that trains might one day run to Jurong, then one of Singapore’s most outlandish spots seemed improbable. True, there was talk of development and some bulldozers were at work – but a railway? Now it has come true. Yesterday the first of what will be many trains steamed ceremoniously along the brand new lines from Bukit Timah to Jurong to inaugurate the latest achievement. It was a little late, the railway having been scheduled for completion in June, but the delay is insignificant.As late as mid-1962 surveyors were still fixing the best route and another six months were needed to cleared squatters. Later the weather proved unhelpful, rain creating quagmires where today 12 miles of track run through five tunnels and across eight bridges and numerous culverts.

Some branch lines to industrial sites have yet to be completed but the system will be “fully operative” by January-about the time the first 3,000 feet of Jurong’s wharves will be ready for its first freighters. The industrial estate will almost simultaneously have gained links with Malaya and the overseas world. Estimates of sea traffic have not been published but the rail figures are fairly firm. The Malayan Railway (which built the line with a $5.5 million loan from the Singapore Economic Development Board) plans to run from seven to ten trains a day into Jurong and expects the line to handle between two and three million tons of freight a year. A cement clinker train service from Perak is about to begin and preparation are being made from regular shipments of iron ore and timber. The Railway anticipates an annual revenue of $2 or $3 million, a formidable return on the investment.

There is only one fly in this apparently excellent ointment. Most of these encouraging estimates were arrived at before Singapore’s separation from Malaysia clouded industrial prospects in both countries. The development of Jurong to the grand goals proposed for it will depended upon various factors, but the size of the market in which it can sell its products is one of the most important. At present it is doubtful whether the Malayan peninsula (now brought so close to Jurong ) is part of the market or not, If the new railway is to serve its full role, the geographical link it has created will need backing by a larger market.

The Straits Times 16.11.1965 - TUE

SINGAPORE, Mon – The new Jurong Railway, which is now directly linked with Malaya, was opened to traffic today.A train made two runs – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon,On the first run, it carried 13 loads of clinker for the Pan-Malaysia Cement Works Ltd from the Singapore marshalling yard to the firm’s factory via Bukit Timah.

On the other, it carried another 18 wagons of clinker – which had arrived at Johore Bahru from Ipoh – from Bukit Timah to the firm’s Jurong factory.The Railway Adminstration which is in charge of the traffic said : “We hope later on to carry logs and other raw material from the Federation to Jurong.”
The new railway was built to serve the Jurong industrial complex and last Thursday a cargo train made a trial run over the 12 – mile track between Bukit Timah and Jurong Wharf.

The new track was built with a loan of nearly $6 million from the Economic Development Board.
Engineers from the Board also built tunnels, culverts and bridges before handing the job of laying tracks to the Malayan Railway authorities.

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