A green, flat hike along the Rail Corridor (aka the Green Corridor or Greenway) with majestic trees and railway tracks from the starting point in Outram through the central Clementi Forest Section to the north at Kranji.
Rail Corridor Hike Overview
The Rail Corridor (or Green Corridor) is a 24 km long, flat hike from Tanjong Pagar in the south to Kranji in the north. It can be divided into three main sections, Central, Southern and Northern.
The Central Section (~4 km) of the Rail Corridor near Bukit Timah is the most popular and contains a high concentration of historical features such as steel bridges and tracks.
The Southern Section (~10 km), south of Bukit Timah, is less scenic and slightly less interesting apart from Clementi Forest which is a lovely stretch of jungle.
The Northern Section (~10 km) north of Hillview MRT station is partly closed. You have to walk for some distance alongside a main road, but elsewhere you walk on a nice alternative trail by the river and through real countryside and wilderness unlike anywhere else in Singapore.
The starting point of the Rail Corridor Hike
The starting point of the rail corridor hike is currently (2022) just southwest of Singapore General Hospital. By 2025 it will start from the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station about 500 metres further towards the centre of Tanjong Pagar. The best way to reach the start of the Rail Corridor is to take a bus to Melati Blk 2 Bus Stop. It’s a few hundred metres walk from there to the Rail Corridor itself.
The northern section of the Rail Corridor ends near Kranji MRT Station on the red North-South Line.
If you don’t want to walk the full 24 km, start at Buona Vista MRT station to miss out the southernmost 7 km so you only have 17 km to walk. You will still see the best sections of the Rail Corridor.
If you want something even shorter, start at Buona Vista MRT and end at Hillview MRT just north of the Rail Mall. This gives you a 7.5 km hike along the most popular, most historic parts of the Rail Corridor.
Tips for The Rail Corridor Hike
- If you walk the entire Rail Corridor, make sure to start early (~7 am or earlier) to avoid walking in the hot afternoons.
- No matter how far you’re walking, start early to take in the beautiful morning light.
- There is very little shade on the Northern Section – a sunhat is essential, along with sunscreen and plenty of water.
- Navigation offline maps app Maps.me works quite well but navigation is rather straightforward on this hike.
- Check out other hikes on our Singapore Hiking Page
Southern Rail Corridor
Getting to the start of the Rail Corridor
From Melati Blk 2 Bus Stop (see above) walk along Kampong Bahru Road towards Singapore General Hospital for about 150 metres. Then turn right along the road into a bus terminal area. About 100 metres later is a small concrete path (with a small sign) that brings you to the start of the Rail Corridor.
Turn right to start the hike, but before you do, look left to an old signal building now elegantly decaying and being taken over by vegetation. There is no navigational difficulty on the Southern or Central Sections of the Rail Corridor, just follow the pedestrian trail straight onwards.
This first, southernmost section is the least interesting part of the trail (apart from when you have to walk along a main road as a diversion on the northern section). The trees are nice, but the trail is just by a large highway which is quite noisy.
Some Interesting Sights
You’ll pass Tiong Bahru neighbourhood on your left and soon the trail bends off and away from the highway. A little further, you’ll see the cute Masjid Hang Jebat. There’s a water station just outside if you want to fill up. Shortly after the mosque, there’s a long, very dark underpass which makes for some interesting photos.
Once through the tunnel, keep a lookout for Wessex Estate on your left. There are several large black-and-white colonial houses and apartments from the 1940s you can see poking through the trees. At the same time, to the right is Sri Muneeswaran Temple with an intricately sculpted entrance gate.
Roughly 7 km from the start of the Greenway, you’ll reach Buona Vista. The MRT station is nearby on the left, and if you’re hungry there is a food centre just to the right. Buona Vista is a convenient place to join the trail if you want a shorter hike, and the scenery improves from here towards the north.
Through Clementi Forest
The section of the Rail Corridor through Clementi Forest is one of the nicest parts. It’s far from any highway so all you can hear is the sounds of the jungle. Unlike other jungle hikes, it is more open so you can see more of the trees and the sky, with birds fluttering around overhead.
The trail goes across the Bukit Timah Diversion Canal, on which there is a man-made waterfall. Opposite this is a large, green open field that is very popular with photographers. Soon you will reach Old Bukit Timah Railway Station, which is officially the end of the Southern Section and the start of the Central Section of the Rail Corridor.
Central Rail Corridor
Old Bukit Timah Railway Station
The old railway station here is undergoing renovation (2022) so you cannot really see it. You can however admire the old station sign and the tracks that still exist by the platform. It’s a popular spot so it can be a little busy on the weekends.
Old Railway Bridge Hindhede Crossing
Just over 1 km further from the station is the first steel truss bridge on this hike, called Hindhede Crossing. Along with the other similar bridge 1.7 km north, it’s a very popular photo spot to take a picture of the railway tracks. If you want to visit Bukit Timah, you can leave the Rail Corridor just after this bridge on the right and it’s just a few hundred metres to the entrance.
The Rail Corridor continues straight on, through some lovely woodland, under a scenic concrete bridge, and on to the second steel bridge.
Upper Bukit Timah Truss Bridge
The path becomes slightly quieter after the turnoff to Bukit Timah as it continues through some nice jungle. After 20-30 minutes you’ll reach another scenic steel railway bridge, this one called Upper Bukit Timah Truss Bridge.
This bridge is also currently (2022) the end of the main Rail Corridor and the start of a diverted route. It’s about 3 km walk along the side of a road to where the next path begins and eventually you reach the Rail Corridor again. If you want to end your hike here, it’s just 500 metres to Hillview MRT station via Rail Mall. You pass this MRT station anyway to continue the hike to the wild north.
The Rail Mall contains many cafes and restaurants, all located in historic railway buildings with ironwork decorations at the top. We love Springleaf Prata Place which is almost the first thing you see when you reach the mall. It’s always very popular and their prata is delicious.
After your fill of food, continue along the road and cross over the pedestrian bridge. There aren’t really any signs for the Rail Corridor anymore, but you just continue walking along the lefthand side of Upper Bukit Timah Road. Soon you’ll pass Hillview MRT station and start the Northern Section of the hike.
History of the Rail Corridor
The railway that used to run on the Rail Corridor was a passenger and freight railway from Tanjong Pagar to Malaysia. The line was decommissioned in 2011 and the Greenway, or Green Corridor, was developed in its place. The trains to Malaysia now start from Woodlands.
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was opened in 1932, and the two truss bridges on this walk were completed the same year. The construction of Bukit Timah Railway Station started even earlier, in 1902. Currently, these historic monuments either have been recently renovated or are undergoing renovation to preserve them for the future.
Northern Rail Corridor
Detour along the road (2.5 km)
From Hillview MRT station it’s another 2.5 km walking by the side of the road until you get back onto a track just north of Pang Sua River. All along the road, you can see the Rail Corridor parallel to your left surrounded by metal barriers where it is being upgraded (part of which should open in mid-2022, the rest in 2024).
Track by Pang Sua River (3 km)
Just after you cross Pang Sua River, there’s a small grassy trail leading by the side of the river. Around the corner, it turns into a gravel track that continues by the river. The Rail Corridor itself is open here, but there is no shade at all so we walked instead by the river which was more pleasant, cooler and shady. The track continues along by the river for roughly 3 km before the main river bends away and the track heads into the middle of the vegetation.
Bring a Sun Hat
Besides sunscreen, you can protect your face against the harsh sun with a sun hat. We always throw hats in our backpack, and use them regularly. They are not very useful in the jungle, but once you get to the open sections you are happy to carry one along. I’ve got this airy sun hat from a great American outdoor brand called Outdoor Research:
Outdoor Research Swift Sun Hat on Amazon*.
You may prefer something with a wider brim, like:
Outdoor Research Sombriolet Sun Hat on Amazon*.
Check out the complete list of hiking gear needed for Singapore:
Entering the Countryside (2.2 km)
The following 2.2 km was one of my favourite parts of the hike. The trail was almost deserted and we were surrounded by over head-high tall reeds with occasional trees. The path was narrow and on dirt and there were few signs of anything manmade. There is very little shade, so make sure to bring a sunset. Since this section is near the end, it will be near the middle of the day and very warm.
After a while, we reached a metro line that passed high above us. This is the end of the officially open route. To get to Kranji MRT station, head right to follow underneath the MRT and soon you’ll reach a road. From there it’s 500 metres straight on to the station.
Entering the Wilderness (750 m)
When we arrived beneath the metro line, there was an open door in the metal barrier across the path ahead. There were no signs and other hikers were walking through, so we also went through the door, not having read online that it was closed.
It was really beautiful in this section with tall trees towering over the narrow, shady path below. It was only at the far end of this section when we saw a proper metal barrier and a sign on the other side that we realised it was actually closed. There was a well-worn path around the side of the barrier where other hikers must have made the same mistake. From there it was about a 1 km walk to Kranji MRT, first right and then left at the next major road intersection.
Want to find more unique hikes in Singapore? Check out our interactive hiking map!
FAQs for the Rail Corridor Hike
The route is free to access at any time. However, there is no lighting so bring a torch if you want to hike in the dark.
The full Rail Corridor hike is 24 km long. The Southern and Northern Sections are both roughly 10 km, while the Central Section is only 4 km long.
The northern section is partially closed. You have to walk roughly 3 km by the side of a road and 2.2 km on a pleasant riverside track both parallel to the Rail Corridor before rejoining the official route again. The very northern end is also closed but the section that remains open is very nice.
The best way to get to the starting point of the Rail Corridor is by bus to Melati Blk 2 Bus Stop. You can also reach the Rail Corridor from other access points, a convenient one being Buona Vista MRT station.
The Rail Corridor starts near the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Outram and finishes in the north of Singapore near Kranji MRT station.
The Rail Corridor and Green Corridor are the same, just two different names for the same walking/cycling trail. It’s also sometimes called The Greenway.