|credit to: pianofortephilia.blogspot.com|
KUALA LUMPUR: More than 170 people will be on the last train out of Tanjong Pagar station in Singapore on June 30, but chances are, they will not be rushing to get aboard before the green flag signifying the start of the journey is waved.
Almost all of the 172 tickets for the final journey were snapped up after they went on sale at noon yesterday, pointing to the possibility that many wanted to be a part of the historic occasion.
Just five hours after the ticket counters opened for business, the second class sleeping coach tickets were sold out, while the first and second class coaches had only two and 56 tickets left, respectively.
The Ekspres Senandung Sutera locomotive will depart at 10pm from the Tanjong Pagar station, breaking the silence of the darkness of the night for one last time. The express train service ends at the Kuala Lumpur Sentral station.
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd corporate communications executive Kelvin Khew said a sending-off celebration would be organised to commemorate the historic occasion.
“The celebration will start at 11pm with many activities lined up, (including) selling the train’s memorabilia.”
Besides that, said Khew, an exhibition would be held at the Tanjong Pagar station from June 26 to 29, in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia.
The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, will drive a special train from Tanjong Pagar and stop at the Woodlands Immigration checkpoint, then continue to Johor Baru Sentral after getting a licence last year.
Meanwhile, a page has been set up by several people on social networking site Facebook. Called “The Last Train Into Tanjong Pagar”, it has already accumulated 357 fans since it was created earlier this month.
Most of them expressed their sadness over the closure of the Tanjong Pagar station. On July 1, the curtains will come down on the Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Timah stations in Singapore as KTMB terminates its rail services in the republic south of the Woodlands train checkpoint.
The Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Timah stations have been providing rail services for Malaysians and Singaporeans since 1932 and 1915, respectively. The Tanjong Pagar site and other KTMB land parcels in the island republic will be jointly developed by MS Pte Ltd, a company with a 60 per cent stake held by Khazanah Nasional Bhd and 40 per cent by Temasek Holdings Ltd.
This was agreed upon during a series of bilateral meetings which also involved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Singapore counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, last year. - - NST