Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Section of Rail Corridor to glow in dark as part of trial next year

By Fabian Koh, The Straits Times, 25 Oct 2016

A 100m stretch of the Rail Corridor, between Choa Chu Kang Road and Upper Bukit Timah Road, will soon glow in the dark in a trial to make it safer and more accessible.

The substance to be used in the section of track was one of four materials selected for a two-year trial of a 400m stretch of the Corridor, for which the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has called a tender. The other three are grass and gravel, fine gravel, and earth-coloured porous concrete.

According to tender documents, the glow will be achieved with natural non-toxic light green strontium aluminate minerals, which absorb ultraviolet light during the day to allow a soft glow to be emitted at night for a minimum of eight hours.

Such luminous pathways already exist overseas, in places such as the Netherlands and Poland.

The idea came about after the URA held five rounds of community workshops with constituencies along the Corridor in the first quarter of this year. A URA spokesman said many wanted "a more inclusive and accessible community space, while retaining its signature rustic experience".

Work on the Corridor, which is rutted and damaged as a result of wet weather and overuse, will begin by the first quarter of next year and finish by the third.

The URA is considering a suitable surface material to make the trail safer and more resilient. The public will be invited to share their feedback, while agencies will evaluate the durability of the materials.

Heritage blogger Jerome Lim said that while he prefers as little intervention as possible, laying some form of material would make it accessible to more people.

"I believe that's been quite carefully considered. The various options are a step away from plain concrete or asphalt," he said.

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