Imagine a pathway that glows in the dark, to make finding your way at night a little easier.
That’s what Singapore’s testing along a trail, that used to be part of an old railway track. The government has a big project underway to overhaul the rail line, and the luminous trail is just one of the ideas being tested.
The track glows because it’s got strontium aluminate compounds embedded in it — the chemical is commonly found in glow-in-the-dark products, which absorb ultraviolet light in the day, to emit luminescence at night.
The tests are meant to determine which surface material would best result in a safer and more resilient trail, and government agencies will seek feedback from the public as well as measure the materials’ durability.
The trial stretch is pretty short for now, just 100 m (328 ft) long. But if the idea works, we could see the material used more extensively across the 24 km (15 mi) long Rail Corridor project.
When Mashable visited the area in the evening, the path was largely unlit, but track’s glow was disappointingly feeble.
To get the dramatic pictures you see here, we used a longer exposure time to capture the glow coming off the road.
“I was hoping it was bright enough to see my face,” said Xavier Tan, a 23-year-old who lives near the test track. “[It’s] slightly underwhelming.”
“I think it’s quite interesting for this area as a test bed for all this material,” said Judy Ni, who is also 23 years old.
The Rail Corridor — which starts from the north of the island and ends at the city center — was formerly a railway that connected the city to neighbouring Malaysia.