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Woodlands Train Checkpoint

Coordinates: 1°26′38″N 103°46′09″E / 1.44389°N 103.76917°E / 1.44389; 103.76917
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Woodlands Train Checkpoint
KTM_Intercity_Logo | Inter-city rail station
A KTM Intercity train at Woodlands Train Checkpoint
General information
Other namesPusat Pemeriksaan Kereta Api Woodlands (Malay)
兀兰火车关卡 (Chinese)
உட்லேண்ட்ஸ் தொடருந்து சோதனைச் சாவடி (Tamil)
Location11 Woodlands Crossing, Singapore 738103
Owned byImmigration and Checkpoints Authority
Operated byKeretapi Tanah Melayu
Line(s)West Coast Line
Platforms1 side platform
Tracks2
Connections
  • Bus interchange 46069 Bus stop
  • alt text Stn Taxi stand
Construction
Structure typeAt-grade
History
Opened1 August 1998; 25 years ago (1998-08-01) (border checkpoint)
1 July 2011; 13 years ago (2011-07-01) (passenger service)
Services
Preceding station Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Intercity) Following station
JB Sentral Shuttle Tebrau Terminus
Former services
Preceding station Keretapi Tanah Melayu Following station
JB Sentral
towards Padang Besar
North–South Line Bukit Timah
Location
Map

Woodlands Train Checkpoint (abbreviated as WTCP, also known as Woodlands CIQ) is a railway station and border checkpoint in Woodlands, Singapore. Located close to the Malaysia–Singapore border, the station is owned by Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and is operated by the Malaysian railway operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) in agreement with the Singaporean authorities.

Constructed from 1992 to 1997, Woodlands Train Checkpoint was opened on 1 August 1998 as the Singapore border control facility for rail passengers. At that time there were no boarding facilities, as northbound passengers heading towards Malaysia were required to clear Malaysia's customs and immigration at Tanjong Pagar railway station, and northbound trains stopped at Woodlands Train Checkpoint for Singapore exit immigration checks only. However, southbound passengers could disembark after clearing Singapore's customs and immigration at Woodlands Train Checkpoint, as they had already cleared Malaysian Immigration at Johor Bahru railway station.

Since 1 July 2011, Woodlands Train Checkpoint has been the southern terminus of the KTM Intercity service. This followed an agreement between Malaysia and Singapore to permanently close Tanjong Pagar railway station. Today, Northbound passengers clear both Singapore's and Malaysia's customs and immigration at Woodlands Train Checkpoint before boarding the train for Malaysia, while southbound passengers clear Malaysian Immigration at Johor Bahru Sentral railway station and Singapore customs and immigration at Woodlands Train Checkpoint.

Recreational passengers can travel by rail from Portugal to Singapore, a journey of 18,755 km (11,654 miles) and 21 days through Paris, Moscow, Beijing and Bangkok in what is purported to be the longest rail journey in the world.[1] The planned Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System is expected to replace shuttle train services to Woodlands Train Checkpoint by 2026, possibly leading to the station's closure.[2]

Train services[edit]

A diesel powered shuttle train service, known as the Shuttle Tebrau and operated by KTM, links Woodlands Train Checkpoint with Johor Bahru Sentral.[3] There are 31 trips daily: 17 trips from Johor Bahru and 14 trips from Woodlands.[4] KTM Intercity train services that previously linked Woodlands Train Checkpoint with various destinations in Malaysia were truncated to terminate at Johor Bahru Sentral following the introduction of the shuttle train service on 1 July 2015.[3]

The diesel powered Eastern and Oriental Express (E&O) has its southern terminus at Woodlands Train Checkpoint. The E&O is a luxury train that is run by Belmond Limited, the same operator of the Venice-Simplon Orient Express. From 1993 to 2021, the E&O has been used as a means of recreational travel between Singapore and Bangkok with stopovers at places of interest in Malaysia and Thailand. Since 2022, it has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is however expected to resume operation in February 2024 between Singapore and Malaysian venues.[5]

Transport connections[edit]

Woodlands Train Checkpoint features a domestic public bus stop served by the public buses listed below. Most connect to MRT stations at Kranji, Marsiling, Woodlands and Woodlands North.

Bus # Ref
170 [6]
178 [7]
856 [8]
903 [9]
911 [10]
912 [11]
950 [12]

In addition, it also features both a domestic taxi stand and a domestic ride-hail (private hire cars) stand.

A footbridge links the train checkpoint with the Woodlands Checkpoint and the walk takes approximately 7 minutes ( ~500 meters).

Woodlands Train Checkpoint functions as a de facto domestic public bus stop, taxi stand and ride-hail stand (with much higher bus frequencies, bus seat availability and taxi availability) for the Woodlands Checkpoint, as all bus and taxi services that ply through Woodlands Checkpoint itself are fully cross-border transport services.

Border control issues[edit]

Until 1998, both Malaysia and Singapore had their customs and immigration facilities for rail passengers at Tanjong Pagar railway station. Singapore decided to relocate its customs and immigration facilities to Woodlands despite Malaysia's unwillingness to vacate the Tanjong Pagar railway station according to the Malaysia–Singapore Points of Agreement of 1990. The ICA ceased operations at Tanjong Pagar and moved into Woodlands Train Checkpoint on 1 August 1998.

While providing immigration facilities for southbound passengers at Johor Bahru, Malaysian Customs and Immigration for northbound passengers remained at Tanjong Pagar, refusing to relocate to either Woodlands or Johor Bahru. This peculiarity resulted in passengers travelling to Malaysia being granted entry to Malaysia before being granted exit from Singapore, which is contrary to international practice.

To circumvent the problem, Malaysian Immigration officers in Tanjong Pagar did not stamp passports, instead scanning them into a computer system and providing a stamped embarkation/disembarkation card, to be retained until leaving Malaysia. This still posed problems for some visitors when leaving Malaysia due to the lack of a physical endorsement in their passports, especially for those who lost the card while in Malaysia.

The border control issues were resolved in 2010 following an agreement to close the Tanjong Pagar railway station. KTM together with Malaysian customs and immigration relocating their operations to Woodlands Train Checkpoint on 1 July 2011 in agreement with Singapore.

See also[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dickinson, Sophie (2022-02-09). "This map shows how you can travel all the way from Portugal to Singapore by train". Time Out Worldwide. Retrieved 2024-01-04.
  2. ^ "Fares on JB-Singapore RTS Link 'will not be costly', says Malaysia's transport minister, as project officially resumes". The Straits Times. Singapore. 30 July 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "KTMB to launch shuttle train services between Woodlands, Johor Bahru". Channel NewsAsia. Singapore. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Malaysia in talks with Singapore for more daily Tebrau Shuttle trips". The Straits Times. Singapore. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  5. ^ Cripps, Karla (2023-07-14). "Famed luxury train is returning to Southeast Asia with two new routes". CNN. Retrieved 2023-08-15.
  6. ^ "TransitLink eGuide - Bus Service Information". www.transitlink.com.sg. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  7. ^ "TransitLink eGuide - Bus Service Information". www.transitlink.com.sg. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  8. ^ "TransitLink eGuide - Bus Service Information". www.transitlink.com.sg. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  9. ^ "TransitLink eGuide - Bus Service Information". www.transitlink.com.sg. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  10. ^ "TransitLink eGuide - Bus Service Information". www.transitlink.com.sg. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  11. ^ "TransitLink eGuide - Bus Service Information". www.transitlink.com.sg. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  12. ^ "TransitLink eGuide - Bus Service Information". www.transitlink.com.sg. Retrieved 2022-05-03.

1°26′38″N 103°46′09″E / 1.44389°N 103.76917°E / 1.44389; 103.76917