Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Exploring the abandoned Clementi railway bridge

It had been brewing for ages too – after the Turf City outing with friends Chankeet and Darrick, I was already itching for another photo outing. However, sadly after that I’m cudgeled into an endless circuit of assessments and late-night cramming, I barely had enough time to sleep let alone to escape my room for just one afternoon for an outing.

So we nailed another date on the previous weekend to head out for a self-organized photo outing! In the past my photo outings were either conducted alone or I followed the ones organized by my university’s photography club. For this time round, it’s just a small little outing for 3 of us.

For all the photos taken, you can visit the gallery or this Flickr set that I’ve created for the trip.

Darrick suggested the Clementi railway bridge (see it on Google Maps) and since I have no idea where to go to shoot, I didn’t have any qualms going there. I was slightly concerned about the forum postings warning visitors regarding the bridge, but it didn’t made me less excited about the outing. Here are the directions to the place:

  1. Travel to Clementi Road Block 109/109a bus stop #12061, accessible by bus services 52, 61, 154, 184.
  2. Once you have arrived at Sunset Way, simply travel along the length of the road until you encounter an underpass
  3. There should be a path on the left side of the road leading up to the railway and do exercise caution when scaling.
  4. Once you’re on the tracks, walk away from the underpass until you see the bridge.
What a lovely weather for an outing!

What a lovely weather for an outing!

The weather was lovely that weekend! The sky exuded this sapphire glow complemented with rolling white clouds. I couldn’t help but to take a photo of the scene as I scaled the flight of stairs leading up to the bus stop.

Darrick and I decided to meet up at Sunset Way for lunch before we start shooting proper. Chankeet’s mom was cooking and oh well, being a big foodie he made himself stay at home for lunch before heading over. We had lunch at Rocky’s Pizza. Our meetup didn’t have a smooth start when I boarded the wrong bus and have to backtrack all the way to the nearest bus stop with a bus that brings me back to Sunset Way. That made Darrick wait for 42 minutes (oooof, sorry dude). I’ll tell you how he got his sweet revenge later.

Lunch at Rocky's Pizza. Look at Darrick's face!

Lunch at Rocky's Pizza. Look at Darrick's face!

Interior of Rocky's Pizza

Interior of Rocky's Pizza

Omnomnom! Look at that face on Darrick preparing for a food fest. He had lasangna which was the cheesiest one I’ve ever seen (I could even smell his cheese from the other side of the table) while I settled for seafood marinara. I wouldn’t say that Rocky’s serve the best italian food around but it wasn’t half bad! The place was rather deserted with a pair of couples on the other end, and in between us there’s a caucasian family dining in too.

The iPod touch robber. Darrick is evil.

The iPod touch robber. Darrick is evil.

Yeap, that’s the sweet revenge that I was talking about! Not only did Darrick ordered a big jug of Pepsi and made both of us finish it, but he also hogged my iPod touch for 40 minutes… ah well, I guess that makes up the time for me being late and him for waiting :)

After poking around the place for a while, we figured out that in order to get on the bridge we had to scale a slippery muddy path (all thanks to the unexpected rain since the weather forecast said it would be partially cloudy only) to get on the railway tracks. Darrick gave it a shot but I was so afraid of him tumbling down – and more importantly, obliterating me who’s right behind him, so for the second try I went up first. Darrick was panting like mad.

Then he asked, “How are we going to get down?” Staring at the muddy steep path that we climbed, I told him we’ll find another way out later. It felt like a little adventure now!

Main span of the railway bridge over the canal.

Main span of the railway bridge over the canal.

Walking along a well-trodded path along the defunct railway line brought us to the bridge. It is heavily rusted but it still felt sturdy when we walked on it. There were handrails along the sides but I didn’t bother grabing them because I didn’t want to cut myself. Darrick and I were screaming oh my gawd every few seconds or so as the metal plates below creaked under our weight. The holes on the tracks are big enough for a man to fall through, and as the tracks get higher and higher above ground, the adrenaline started gushing non-stop.

Darrick looked down on of the big gaping hole and said “oh, that’ll be a 20 feet drop from here”. I didn’t know 20 feet could be so scary!

Where we came from. Safe on the concrete ledge.

Where we came from. Safe on the concrete ledge.

That’s the photo of the way where we came from. So far we’re technically not on the main span of the bridge yet, and we chose to camp on that spot because it’s right above a sturdy concrete support that we think it won’t fall apart.

Darrick on the main span. Scary!

Darrick on the main span. Scary!

It took us around 10 minutes to get used to the height and after that, we’re jumping walking at ease along the bridge. Of course we still keep it in mind that we have to be extremely careful on the main span due to a blatant lack of hand rails – if you trip or fall it’s either the camera or the camera and us falling into the canal below. Ooooof!

Darrick is stuck!

Darrick is stuck!

There’s a big void in the concrete pillar so Darrick went in and here’s a photo of him with his head above the tracks.

Portrait - Darrick

Portrait - Darrick

Some obligatory portrait photos of Darrick, haha! We were still waiting for Chankeet to come though.

Discarded batteries

Discarded batteries

Looks like some nincompoop left unused batteries on the tracks. Why do we have such environmentally-unfriendly people around? And I suppose they were left by some other photographer who recently visited since the batteries still looked new and that other than photographers I don’t think anyone else would want to risk their lives climbing up here.

Array of nuts and bolts.

Array of nuts and bolts.

An array of nuts and bolts along the track. The wooden planks were still preserved in rather pristine conditions except for a few overgrowing with fungi. Barely any of them rotted too.

We saw Chankeet on the pedestrian bridge spanning the canal. We waved at him and it took him awhile to find us on the railway bridge. I walked back to the slippery muddy slope and that’s where he emerged from. We walked back to the bridge to rendezvous with Darrick and we started shooting again!

Portrait - Chankeet

Portrait - Chankeet

More obligatory portrait photos of Chankeet. He was late! Maybe we should forfeit latecomers next time muahaha.

Crossfire!

Crossfire!

Crossfire – something that you wouldn’t ever miss in a photo outing eh?

Another wide angle photo of the bridge.

Another wide angle photo of the bridge.

Here’s a photo taken on the main span of the bridge. It’s pretty scary up there and I had to keep being reminded to balance myself. I was so afraid of falling off that I left my tripod and camera bag with Chankeet who’s on the concrete pillar because I think they’ll affect my balance. Darrick chose to travel without his gadgets too, except for his camera. As you can see, the canal is around 30-40ft underneath me and there are metal beams beside for us to grab onto for a short break before we continue walking.

Chankeet - the guardian of our bags

Chankeet - the guardian of our bags

Oh and there is Chankeet with our belongings, haha!

Darrick and the bridge!

Darrick and the bridge!

That’s Darrick the cheeky monkey with the metal bridge! I’m glad that I bought my UWA lens before this outing – it really served me good! :)

It's a long fall down!

It's a long fall down!

Look! That’ll be a long fall down!

A group photo for the outing!

A group photo for the outing!

We took this photo in a rush because it was already starting to drizzle. From left, Chankeet, Darrick and me :) We hurriedly left the place because the rain was getting heavier but thank goodness we found another gentler and less muddier slope to descend from the railway tracks. It was a mere 2-minute walk way from the nearest HDB flat. Despite the cold weather, we decided that rewarding ourselves with desserts is the best way. The waiter that served us was very chatty that day but he was new to the place so he didn’t even know what ice cream flavours do they have, hah!

The interior of our dessert place!

The interior of our dessert place!

The interior of the shop.

Our dessert! Yummylicous.

Our dessert! Yummylicous.

Our dessert! Omnomnomnom.

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