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Gallery: The end of the line for Singapore's Tanjong Pagar railway station
June 30 marked one of Singapore's blackest historical days yet: The closure of an art deco gem
Before Changi Airport, before Woodlands even, there was Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, an art deco gem that was Singapore's Grand Central. Over the decades, millions tramped its dusty halls and platforms, headed across the causeway to Malaysia or arriving in Singapore -- perhaps as new immigrants -- at the end of a long journey.
The station survived World War II and witnessed not a few marriage proposals; many spent the bulk of their working lives here; and legend has it that ghosts stalk its upper floors. When all is said and done, Tanjong Pagar station was part of the fabric of Singaporean life rather than simply a transportation terminus.
But now that the station has closed -- as part of a handover deal with the Malaysian government which operated the railway -- many wonder what will happen to this building, which has been earmarked for conservation.
In September 2010, Singapore and Malaysia agreed to a land swap deal which would see plots in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji, Bukit Timah and Woodlands traded back to Singapore for land in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor.
The land has since been valued at billions of dollars, and passengers planning to travel anywhere by the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB ) train will have to board at the bland-looking Woodlands Checkpoint.
For the sentimentalists among us -- and Singapore harbors many -- the loss of the railway line, which cut through the landmass like an artery, is indicative of the government's lightspeed move towards the future, where there is no time or space for nostalgia.
So here, in stark black and white, are images that we may wish to remember.
Whether the buildings of yesteryear are actually converted into museums, coffee shops, hotels or nightclubs, may these visuals leave you with a lasting memory of Singapore's history.