Monday, August 15, 2011

Taiping Railway Station - the end is nigh? - Part II

There is not much to see in the old railway station of Taiping,
but my friend and fellow Taipingite Aya can see his dashing dad waiting
for her at this station. I can see bapak, mak and all us taking the train to Penang
in the 60s. I still remember the trip to KL in the 70s, and how I rode my bicycle
along the Taiping-Part Weld track to this station carrying with me MC Bumah's
wedding suitcase that was left behind by mistake. How relief and thankful she
was in seeing me with that suitcase!
This station got character and it is alive!
So there is a hive of activities at Taiping Railway Station nowadays. 

The old building is still intact, but it is in dilapidated state. The officer there told me that if it were up to KTM, in no time it will be torn down. But apparently, my fellow Taipingites, there is still hope.

Especially for sentimentalist like me, and you!

Apparently Jabatan Muzium wants to take over and preserve the building as it a historic building. I guess they could gazette the building to ensure that it will withstand not only the test of time, but to me, more of the greedy power of politicians and their cronies seeing a prime land for development and making millions of ringgit into their pockets.

As eloquently put forward by my friend Aya, in response to Part I entry, "It is an iconic building; being the first railway station in the country and should be preserved. It is heritage to me as Taipingite."

We all have too many memories stashed somewhere at Taiping Railway Station. I am seeing the ghosts of the family past at this railway station. 

I tried surfing to see if there is a plan and drawing rendition of what would be Taiping Railway Station which I presume will be competed in two years' time. But to no avail.

Why weren't we Taipingites consulted over the masterplan of the Railway station? Is there a masterplan in the first place?

NY Grand Central Station
Ipoh Train Station
Will it be as iconic and majestic as KL Railway Station or will it be as non-descript as KL Sentral? Will it have character like Ipoh Train Station or will it devoid of character as in KL Sentral? Will be have a grand dome like Flinder St Station in Melbourne, or will it be squarish as in KL Sentral?
Flinders St Station, Melbourne - the station I used
to frequent to everytime we went to downtown Melbourne
Tanjung Pagar Station

Nondescript Sentral Station - why can't we be
more imaginative in building our station and then
naming it correctly? This station is devoid of character
and it is a dead place.
I have no idea to be honest, if Taiping station will end up like her counterpart in Ipoh, Singapore or Melbourne. Or will be designed by someone who have not been to the grand station of cities well known for its history, and know only how to design matchbox building? To me, the architects of KL Sentral have no knowledge of train and its history or have no passion in his profession!

Taiping is an old colonial town; many of her buildings were built by the British. Many of them might not be Moorish in design, but I want a train station that would blend into other colonial building of Taiping. The characteristics of Taiping have to be preserved. As I have suggested before, Taiping should be declared a Heritage Town by the government!

I don't welcome the unimaginative KL Sentral Station as Taiping Grand Station.

But here is the construction taking place right now. 
I can't imagine.
I cannot imagine what kind of structure that will come up.
Hmmm, not very promising, I must say

View from the bridge. You can see the red-roof old railway station
next to the construction site

Looks squarish to me, no?
Personally, I think the location is unsuitable. It is right at the junction of the Aulong/Assam Kumbang flyover, so I can imagine the traffic it would generate. That flyover is an old flyover and it is an el-cheapo  flyover built by Lim Kheng Yaik (it is not compliment, ok!) and I think it would not survive the heavy pounding of the construction next to it and not the increase traffic.

I demand a stop work be issued to this project until Taipingites can review the master plans.

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