‘Upgraded’ Penang Hill railway shut for repairs


What, already? I think there’s a story in here somewhere.

The Penang Hill Corporation has issued a statement. Notice these lines in particular, which suggest that all is not well:

Repair work is further hampered by lack of spare parts from the train supplier. The full inventory of spares especially power pick-ups, has still not been given. The situation is further aggravated by the lack of information in dealing with the supplier. Documents and contracts on the upgrading works of the new train and rail are still not in the Corporation’s possession despite repeated requests and reminders. If the power pick-ups and spare parts were available, the Penang Hill Corporation would have been able to repair the train much quicker.

Now, why would the contractor of this RM73m upgrading project withhold such documents and why would the railway have a lack of spare parts? Who exactly is this mysterious contractor? Stay tuned to this story.

The railway was closed at 7.00pm yesterday and the Corporation hopes it can be re-opened tomorrow.

The new Penang Hill funicular train service shut for repair works
The Penang Hill funicular train service has been suspended for a day due to damage to the electrical connector resulting in a mechanical failure. The damage was caused by a collision with some object during operations at 4.30pm 3rd May 2011

Initial reports stated that the collision was with a group of stray dogs. However, this has given rise to suspicions and further investigations will be carried out to determine the actual cause, including the possibility of sabotage. The primary focus will be on carrying repairs to allow the train to function and operate normally.

The train service was closed for repair works from 7pm, Wednesday Tuesday (4 3 May 2011). Repair work is further hampered by lack of spare parts from the train supplier. The full inventory of spares especially power pick-ups, has still not been given. The situation is further aggravated by the lack of information in dealing with the supplier.

Documents and contracts on the upgrading works of the new train and rail are still not in the Corporation’s possession despite repeated requests and reminders. If the power pick-ups and spare parts were available, the Penang Hill Corporation would have been able to repair the train much quicker.

An announcement will be made as soon as the repair works is completed with the necessary spares. Visitors are advised to check with the Penang Hill Corporation at 04-828 8880/ 828 8861 for the latest updates.

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  1. No train will break down in less 10 days unless it is under extreme heavy load. A F1 racing car is well maintained but it tend to breakdown due to the extreme racing condition. The planner insist that the train should go all the way up disregard to the steep slope is putting extreme load to the train. The power connector will not easily knock down by dogs, it is the high current that caused overheat and expansion on the power connector. If it is a sabotage, it was done during the planning stage. Why a no brainer like LGe can endorse this stupid BN project of Ng Yen Yen? Precisely it is because he is a no brainer!
    How can a dog stage a sabotage to the train? Our Bolehland politicians seem have great imagination, they should go to Bollyhood, Hong Kong or Hollywood to contribute for action movie.
    Osama is now dead, don’t tell me that there are greater terrorists who can train dogs to sabotage a train. Which breed of dog is a kamikazi dog?
    Like the Botanical garden fiasco, a scapegoat must be found, this time, it is PDC that suck not Nik Ali. LGe is forever blameless. He would rather fail than do nothing, but I prefer that he do doing than fail.
    It will be interesting to see how he going to survive when Penang become Darul Sampah in one month time. Watch out for this great events to unfold when the barges transporting the garbage stop operation in June.

      • Ng Yen Yen can guarantee anything meh?

        Even if I buy a car from Salesman A, I do not expect that Salesman A to give me any guarantee or warranty.

        It’s the CAR COMPANY that does that, not Salesman A.

        Even if this cable car does not come with any warranty doesn’t mean Lim Guan Eng PR government can’t find an alternative means to locate people who can maintain the cable car, or find sources that can provide them with genuine (if can’t find genuine, at least compatible) spare parts.

        Problem with Lim Guan Eng PR government is they are as useless as Koh Tsu Koon government.

        The first day of operation already said it all — with tourists lined up they had only 2, and yes, count it, TWO counters opened.

        Talk about the “CAT” government.

        CAT what?

        Where is the ACCOUNTABILITY from that “CAT” thing?

      • Apparently, this “Penang Lang” is nobody but some spin doctor trying to spin the responsible away from BN wrong doing. Getting “alternate” service engineer to maintain machinery? ROFL. Did anyone ever heard of a Toshiba technician trying to fix IBM computer with Toshiba parts and knowledge?

        Perhaps penang lang can continue spill out bull… of “generic knowledge technician”. ROFL. Here is a real story : when a BMW driver drove his car into a typical workshop for some quick fix up, the foreman CANNOT FIND the car battery, which actually locate at the back of the vehicle. Now that is automobile. Do you think the foreman able to handle the car? In addition, Railway train are not commodity, I will be amused if Penang Lang can create specific service engineer FROM THE THIN AIR in no time. Hmmm, this is great.

        Even better, Penang Lang are so genius, he can find engineer do a repair by reading user manual. According to Penang lang logic, I think all engineer are going to hate themselves because they CANNOT FIX stuff by reading user manual, instead they spend tons of hour studying the service manual, machinery blueprints.

      • The project was tendered out by the Public Works Department and fell under the Tourism Ministry.
        The contractor is Alam Langkawi Sdn Bhd, based in Penang.
        Either Ng Yen Yen can talk Swiss fairy trains without understanding a word … specially built Swiss trains that can knock out whistling stray dogs in Switzerland!

  2. Come on lets get real Documents where asked for but Like old saying trying to get blood out of stone.My question is why do they not want to release the documents ? Why only providing one months supply of parts ? What is the Federal Government Hiding or the Contractor afraid of giving the documents. Some thing smells
    I have inspected the system ,My personal opinion, poor workman ship lack of proper attention to details. SOME low grade material used.
    A train not built for Penang conditions Air con that can only be set on off and on SO you freeze going up get a head ache from its noise it makes. AN can not see out of Windows because they are fogged up
    Am making full report to Administration of railway soon
    Ric Francis Light Railway Engineer

    • If you get a piece of equipment with no document, what would you do?

      Wait and wait and wait for a miracle, so that somehow somewhere someone will give you the document?

      Or go out there and look for someone who may have that document?

      If you get a piece of equipment with only one month of spare part, what would you do?

      Sit there twiddling your thumbs hoping that nothing goes wrong in the first month?

      Or you go out there and look for the manufacturer of that equipment and procure more spare parts?

      Please tell me what would you do.

      I am not siding with BN or PR.

      I am just stating the facts.

      Blaming BN this and that won’t make the cable car run.

      If, and only if the Lim Guan Eng PR government would just use their brain and do something PRO-ACTIVE, instead of blaming BN this and that, I am sure the Penang Hill Cable Car would still be running smoothly.

      • Penang Lang , I think it is YOU that are not using your brain.

        Perhaps you are so genius, even without blue prints, maintenance documents, can straight away figures out what specification parts are needed, and “manufactured” it on the fly. Also, perhaps your father run the custom department, so overseas made spare part can enter Malaysia with little or not effort…

        Learn to spell “engineering” before you jump the gun.

      • You do not know how to read, do you?

        You do not know how to google, do you?

        But that is not a surprise.

        Apparently Lim Guan Eng PR government doesn’t have anyone who knows how to look for relevant information either, or they would know how to google to get info on manufacturers who make Cable Cars, and proceed from there.

      • Since common sense does not come common, I don’t blame you fro lack of common sense.

        No engineering firm going to give out blueprint and specification in a short time frame without a proper transition documents. And according to Bolehland Barisan Nasional standard, a holding of payment from BN cronies can easily make the deal stale an make the supplier from giving away all crucial information.

        Did BN again holding back on payment , or like other project , holding back “cutback”, I will just let time tell the story.

      • Your answer only shows that you have NO IDEA how to deal with any commercial establishment.

        Meaning: You don’t even know what you are talking about.

        We are talking about Owner’s Manual, not BLUEPRINT or whatever that contains TRADE SECRETS, for crying out loud.

        But anyway, it’s useless to talk sense to you, since you have absolutely NO IDEA what you yourself are talking about in the first place.

  3. The upgrading works were undertaken by the federal tourism ministry. Upon completion, it was handed over to the Penang state government minus documents, contracts, spare parts, etc., essentially all the things you need to know when you buy a new “thing” before operating it for the first time.

    Remember the long period of testing time? It was because the Penang state government was hesitant to open it for public use without understanding what its warranty entails. They didn’t want to be accused of breaking the warranty should something go wrong without even knowing the details of the warranty.

    Under pressure from the public and those who would even politicize something as necessary as a mode of transportation, they opened it for public use.

    Not one week has passed and it runs into problems, accidental or otherwise is yet to be determined. And then we have idiots hurling brickbats at the state!

    Watch this story closely in the coming days. Watch it being politicized further by those desperate to put down the Penang state administration as incompetents in order to regain what they lost.

  4. Hi everyone,

    Any surprise for such an eventuality? Another project of the BN Govt; this time the upgrading costs taxpayers RM63 million, and when delivered, spare parts, technical details, etc, are still not delivered to the Penang Hill Corporation!

    Penangites and other Malaysians are definitely interested in who is the contractor of this hill upgrading project!

  5. This looks more like a gravy train job.
    Once delivered its ‘promises’ to gravy train railway ‘sleepers’ (on the job), it literally becomes useless as an expensive breakable toy train fit for kindy ride in Boleh Land.
    Penang Hill Railway is now closed for kindy song rehearsal:

  6. The Chinese has a saying: Don’t wait till it rains before you start looking for an umbrella.

    What happens in this case is just this —>

    Why no one ever check the part inventory before … happen?

    I mean, the Penang state government is already run by PR, no longer BN. Why this PR government runs just as stupid as the previous BN government?

    Why Lim Guan Eng (or anybody else from the PR Penang state government) ever care?


    I thought we voted in PR we gonna get a better run government. Apparently not.

    I know that the new cable car was funded by the Fed. I know that.

    But still, how many days already the Fed has handed over the new cable car to Lim Guan Eng’s state government?

    Why the Lim Guan Eng’s state government never even bother to check the part inventory?

    • Penang Lang, ‘read between the lines’ of turn of events.

      The previous workable hill train was replaced based on the still arguable or unquestionable safety, slow ride and passenger load issues. This Fed project was barricaded from public scrutiny and hurriedly done (unlike the 2 damned arches of BG).

      Within days of opening to public, it broke down. Expected? Or unexpected? It depends on where your reasoning stand.

      Now, it looks more like an opportune for $$$$$$$$Satu Lagi Projek: The Hill Cable Car.
      This breakdown (doesn’t matter that it’s a new train) is a convenient prelude to propose and recommend Cable Car as an alternative transport should future (more than expected) breakdowns happen. So fear factor will work on LGE Gomen to give the Satu Lagi Projek the go ahead.

      Another foreseeable breakdown repercussion is Penang tourism reputation. This will damage Penang tourism efforts as Penang Hill is a major attraction to tourists. Nobody’s to blame! Call it an act of stray dogs of Nature! Natural sabotage job done! And to bring this damned train down just like the 2 demolished arches of Botanic Garden is now impossible.

      How much are the spare parts by the way? $$$$$$Satu Lagi Untungan.

    • how many days already the Fed has handed over the new cable car to Lim Guan Eng’s state government?
      Why the Lim Guan Eng’s state government never even bother to check the part inventory?

      Like the way the BN gomen hand-over the state gomen to PR by … carting away and ‘miss placing’ document?

      • Thank you for reminding me of the empty office episode.


        The Lim Guan Eng PR government already kena tipu by BN once.

        Once bitten twice shy, right?

        Apparently, NOT !!

        I mean, if I have tipu you once, and this is the second time I have a chance to tipu you, will you give me that chance?

        Lim Guan Eng PR government apparently gave the BN this 2nd chance to tipu them !

        I mean, how many days already the new cable car system had been handed over?

        What have been done in these few days?

        I mean, did the Lim Guan Eng government actually send people to the Penang Hill cable car office to tally up the part inventory?

        What I am reading from the local newspaper is this – Lim Guan Eng PR government is blaming the BN for this and that, what the news piece never tells me is — WHY Lim Guan Eng PR government LET BN TIPU THEM ONE MORE TIME?

        Why ??

        It is useless to moan and whine after-the-fact.

        It is useless telling the Penang people that the BN government never gives them this document that document whatever document.

        Why the Lim Guan Eng PR government has to do this “reactive” type of governing?

        Why can’t Lim Guan Eng PR government do the “PRO-ACTIVE” type of government instead?

        Instead of waiting for BN federal government to provide them with the name of the manufacturer, for example, Lim Guan Eng PR government should CONTACT THE MANUFACTURER THEMSELVES !

        I mean, how many cable car manufacturers are there in the world?

        Don’t they know how to google for information?

        Koh Tsu Koon’s government is useless.

        Lim Guan Eng’s government is equally useless.

      • More like greasing the palms of you know who lah!
        More money making in the multi level of red tape processes. For problem solving creates more opportunities.
        With such incentives, who would want to join MLM nowadays?

  7. Ng Yen Yen should answer for this dogged-breaking down fiasco.
    Are stray dogs so invincible as to damage a new train toy?

    No documents, contracts and spare parts make it looks like pasar malam goods bought at super exorbitant price.

    The next time some monkeys decide to cause monkey business, we will be confidently told some more monkey stories.

  8. Power connector failure? This is bull… Yes, Malaysia might not have the industrial strength to cast high stress metal, but railway power connector is are not rare item. Nevertheless, it might involved so called “intellectual property” of proprietary deign parts.


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