Singapore Railways

Tank Road railway station, 1902-1933

There was a station at Tank Road in 1895 according to the NAS but the pictures, supposedly taken on 15th October that year, are not currently displayed by the NAS on their PICAS web site so I have no idea if it is the same building as that shown below. However, the fact is that there was no railway near Tank Road until the construction in 1902 of the Singapore to Woodlands section of the Singapore Government railway. Maps show that the first station was located at the southern end of Canning Park opposite the junction of the old Ord Road and River Valley road. The first two pictures are of that station. In 1906 construction of an extension to Pasir Panjang started and a new station was built just north of Fort Canning/Oxley Road, which were later linked and crossed the railway and Tank Road via a bridge. The extension opened in 1907 and the remaining photographs show this station.


Above: The first Singapore station (1903-1907) looking north-east with Fort Canning hill in the background.

Below: The first Singapore station looking south-west with the works of Howarth Erskine beyond River Valley Road.


All the following pictures, taken from postcards of the period, are dated variously c1900 to c1910 except the second which is dated c1903 and c1905, it is therefore not possible to put them in precise chronological order, especially as this station did not open until 1907!

ABOVE: 3 views looking southwards across Tank road possibly between 1906 and 1910. Note that in one picture the tracks are not visible but a gas lamp has appeared.

BELOW: Another view looking across Tank road supposedly between 1903 and 1905. The railway tracks are beyond the building, those in the foreground being a tramway. The steam tramway closed in 1895 and the electric tramway opened in 1905 and the pictures must be 1906 or later.

The next five pictures all appear to have been taken from the same vantage point, perhaps another bridge as the last one has moved some way to his right to clear the extra track which has been added. I used the appearance of additional buildings on the far side of the road and the extensions to the station buildings to try and sort them into chronological order.

Above: This picture was probably taken shortly after the line opened in 1903.

Below: The completion of a new building on the left and the growth of the tree suggest a few years have elapsed.


Above: The growth of the banana plants and other bushes suggest at least another year or two have passed. The locomotive appears to be a class A 4-4-0T built by Hunslet.

Below: Another building has appeared on the left so another year or two has probably passed by. The clearance in the foreground may be a prelude to the layout alterations which have taken place on the last picture.

This last picture below was possibly taken from the same bridge as the one above but looking south. If this is the case the old station would have been on the left and the depot on the right. The building in the background could have been on River Valley road. Can anyone identify it?

Pictures of the rest of the line

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Last updated 18th January 2008.

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